"A friend from the old neighborhood was injured at his last full-time job. He went on disability for a while and moved back in with his parents. He got better, but rather than get another full-time job, he became his parent's caregiver in their old age.
After many years, they died and he ended up inheriting the bulk of their estate - the house in upscale Orange County and a significant stock portfolio. He sold the house and ended up with $500,000 in cash.
So far, so good. I told him that he should move to a cheap low-tax state, buy some acreage with a decent cheap house, and just do whatever. No, he decides to rent an apartment in a gated community in OC and burnt through his inheritance in 10 years. He never went back and got a job, so now he has a 25-year unemployment history.
He's now lived in his truck on the streets for over a year. His only healthcare is the from the VA. He gets online at the local library and rails about how everyone is against him, and frequently gets banned from Facebook. He's still three years short of getting SS and Medicare. If he survives that long, he might be able to get a bed at a crappy rest home."
"I was good at math when I was young. I could multiply any number before kindergarten, algebra by first grade. In elementary school, during math lessons, they would let me go into a corner and do whatever I wanted to. In second grade, a girl was allowed to go into the corner as well because she knew math too. We became friends and were close the rest of elementary school.
Well, she was one of the first girls in our school to start puberty. Needless to say, she became popular. She stopped hanging out with me at that point. In middle school, we rarely saw each other. I didn't notice that she stopped coming to school because she had gotten pregnant in seventh grade.
Her family was religious, so obviously she kept the baby. The last time I heard from her, she's on her seventh baby and lives in a dilapidated trailer next to her parents' dilapidated trailer. I've heard that every baby comes from a different father, but I don't honestly know."
"Sadly, it's kind of my fault.
My friend was never good with ladies, despite being fairly good looking. He lacked the confidence to talk to them. One New Years, he invites his online girlfriend along, and long story short, she turns out to be 14 years old. We're all mid-20s. They didn't do anything; he was embarrassed. She said she was 19.
In an attempt to make him forget about this, I hook him up with a crazy girl who works with my wife. She's a proper streetwalker and will sleep with anyone if they buy her enough drinks.
Of course, my friend takes this to heart. Every date she seems more and more into him. Because he's paying. I try to warn him, but this is the only real woman who has ever shown him any real interest. He's smitten.
A year later, they're married. A year after that, they have a kid. He dotes on the kid, does everything for him, despite working long hours. She quit her job to move in with him when they got married. Isn't interested in finding another. Isn't interested in the kid. My friend does absolutely everything for the kid.
It's now four years later. He's finally filed for a divorce. They're still living together but in separate bedrooms. He's paid for EVERYTHING - house, two cars, loads of jewelry for her using his savings. She is demanding she keep the house and her car, and she wants half of his wages until the kid is 18."
"I've been at my company for nearly 20 years now, from age 18 straight out of college into this role. Not a year after I started, this kid turns up, working the same job as me (database administration). We became good friends over the years, we moved to different departments for a few years and ended up working with each other regularly later on. Every day, the two of us worked for a broadcaster, doing edits on entertainment shows; stuff like putting ad breaks in shows, compliance edits, etc.
One day, he comes to my house and announces he's got his troublesome girlfriend pregnant. I go to his wedding. She isn't a bad person, but she's hard work. I could tell from the moment I met her, which was at the wedding reception.
Anyway fast forward a few years and he's now three kids in. He has to balance his work which wasn't well paid, with his wife's demands, and the demands of three kids. His work is suffering and he's supporting the whole family, renting a tiny flat and living on a ridiculously small amount of income.
A year or two later, she's pregnant with kid number four. He admits to me he drinks a lot. His only outlet is playing this text-based game on his phone which he seems to get a kick out of. His household can't afford a computer or laptop or anything.
Another year or so passes and she's pregnant with kid number five. Friend's work is now suffering, and management seemed to have it in for him. They basically tell him to buck up his ideas or he'll get the sack. Warning after warning and these were relatively minor infractions - easily fixable administrative mistakes. He tells me the doctor has put him on anti-depressants.
A few months later, he stops coming to work. He didn't call in and no one hears from him. Eventually, the company lets him go.
A week later, I get a call from another friend, who tells me he passed away in his sleep. His wife was still pregnant with kid number five. She woke up one morning to find my friend dead in their bed. Cause of death was apparently 'natural causes' but this is what his family said.
At his funeral, after the curtains close around his coffin, his kid screams: 'I want my daddy.' That broke me. It was one of the worst things I've ever heard.
Fast forward a few years, his wife is struggling but coping with help from family and friends. My friend's brother, however, has fallen into a deep pit of depression. He kills himself.
Currently, his ex-wife is in a committed relationship with a guy, I've only kept up with updates on Facebook. She seems much better off. As for his wider family, I don't know. His Facebook memory page is still active with people mourning his death."
"She was my best friend from the time we were 12 years old until we were 16. We spent a ridiculous amount of time together, she even called my parents 'Mom' and 'Dad.'
We drifter as we got older. She liked to party, and I wanted to settle, but we still talked weekly and hung out from time to time, and she was a bridesmaid in my wedding.
Shortly after having my first son, my friend went missing for about 48 hours. Her parents and boyfriend called asking if I had seen her. The police got involved and we had no idea what happened. She finally came back, and gave no explanation, broke up with her boyfriend to stay in a motel with some random guy, and cut off contact with me.
There's a bad illegal substance problem in my town, and as strange as she acted, I just assumed that she had probably gotten hooked. As much as I wanted to reach out to her, I decided to keep my distance for the safety of my son. However, it is a small town, so I would occasionally see her around from time to time, she had lost SO much weight and would avoid eye contact as if she hadn't seen me.
That's been almost two years ago, and I had finally accepted that I would probably never know exactly what happened. But earlier this week, she called me and she told me everything. She has been addicted to illegal substances for the last three years and in an abusive relationship. Some of the things she told me were horrible but she went on to tell me that she's finally out of that relationship sober. She's still in the early stages, but she's trying to cut out all of the toxic people in her life and reconnect with the people she had cut off. I don't know if our relationship will ever be as close as it was, but I'm proud of her for trying, and I'm going to do what I can to try to help her stay sober."
"There was a guy that was new to the high school that semi-joined my friend group. He made good friends with one of my best friends but there was something about him that I didn't like. The guy was moderately intelligent and got a job managing a battery store making enough to live in an apartment by himself at 18.
My best friend went to his apartment to hang out and he showed him a fat pile of cash under his bed claiming he just doesn't 'trust' banks, then showed him his weapon. My buddy essentially told him he's ridiculous for having that. Anyway, that night this kid started telling my friend, in joking or passing, about robbing banks (they were both huge movie buffs and loved films such as 'Boondock Saints' and 'Goodfellas'). Again, my buddy blew him off thinking nothing of it.
Fast forward a few months, the day after St Patrick's day. Everyone is posting RIP for this kid on Facebook. Turns out he was robbing banks dressed as Santa and as a Leprechaun. He apparently got away with the first one. Went to a second bank and was chased down, shot at a cop stalling the vehicle. They were running down into a field when his driver was shot and killed. He then turned his weapon on himself."
"A good friend of my husband is going to be 29 years old this year, and he still lives in his parents' basement.
He doesn't do illegal substances or party or anything, but he didn't go to college and has basically no work experience. He works at a flower shop seasonally for minimum wage. All he does in his vast amount of free time is watch anime and play video games. He also gets upset when my husband can't or won't devote his limited free time to playing games with him. I know this is stereotypical, but I'm genuinely concerned for him.
His parents are older and have talked about retiring in the Midwest (we live on the East Coast). If something happens or they move away, he won't have any way to support himself or his hobbies. I'm worried he is going to end up homeless or couch surfing for the rest of his life. He has no ambition but is artistically talented and intelligent. He could easily do well if he put in the effort, but I'm worried he's limited on time because his youth is over. My husband and I try to encourage him to go to college or look for better jobs, but we also try not to push him too hard because we know he hears the same thing from everyone else."
"He married at a young age (in his first relationship ever), against everybody's advice because he was impulsive. He soon had a daughter from the marriage.
He was 'suffocated' by the marriage and his job. He started neglecting both and his only focus became only clubbing, drinking and cheating on his wife. The wife took their daughter and left him and soon after that, he got fired from his job.
Instead of looking for a new job or ask for help putting his life together, he started 'hustling' his family and friends for money (intended to help him get back on his feet) to maintain his nightlife. Everyone kept giving him chances to clean up his act, but he kept his ways.
Now he's broke, unemployed and has no family or friends around him and it's all of his doing.
What amazes me is that he fails to see how he messed up his life with his own hands. Instead, he keeps going about how everyone is out there to get him and how he doesn't have any real family or friends and how everyone is fake. He goes to ridiculous lengths to absolve himself of any blame."
"My friend was complaining how he didn't like his job and he needed to get out of there. I talked to my boss and was able to swing a job interview his way. I basically told him to just show up, speak well at the interview, and pretty much he would be working for me for a little bit.
What does he do the night before the interview? He goes to a concert and gets trashed, and shows up to the interview reeking of drinks and illegal substances. Obviously, my boss wasn't going to deal with this, so he told my friend he wasn't going to hire him. My friend gets confrontational with my boss, and we have to call the cops. He runs downstairs to get back into his car and that's when the cops arrive. Not only did he have an open container in the car, but enough illegal substances to put down a bull elephant. I haven't seen the kid in years, and I don't know when I will again."
"My friend was by all measures, a goody-goody when he first moved into our neighborhood. I remember he started hanging with our friend group, and he was afraid to say cuss words.
Anyway, we were all little rebels, but not terrible or anything. We'd sneak out and egg houses, sneak drinks from our parents, smoke a bit, etc. Stuff I would consider a lot of 15-year-old boys do.
The rest of the friend's group never went past drinking, but my friend got into illegal substances. He stopped hanging out with us and got in with the wrong crowd, but was still not a bad guy. He ended up going to a regional campus of the big state university, where he became a moron.
One night, he was out partying and fell down a huge flight of concrete stairs while on some ungodly amount of substances that would probably kill a normal person. Boom, he's in the ICU fighting for his life because he just got a traumatic brain injury while on a ton of sedatives.
He recovered but is kind of slow now. Like, he's just not the same person when you talk to him. Despite the injury, he got back on illegal substances and has done a few stints in rehab. His parents moved him across the country to cut off his supply but then he became an addict. I still see him sometimes when I visit my parents. He's just chilling in his folks' driveway, pounding cans and smoking."
"At 18, my friend was hit by a car going 50 mph. She wound up in a wheelchair for several months and began popping one too many painkillers. She became addicted to painkillers and dropped out of university. She then switched to more hardcore illegal substances after her legs recovered.
She was arrested countless times and has been homeless for several years now. She's unable to keep a job. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but refused medication and lost basically all of her family and friends. Now she's sleeping with random men to pay for the illegal substances. Her mental health has severely declined and now she suffers from intense delusions and hallucinations on a daily basis. My own mother didn't recognize this friend when I brought her home last year, and our families have known each other for 21 years.
Before all of this, my friend was a successful, popular, and beautiful leader of the community.
She had been heading down a dark path before the accident, but the accident/painkillers are what tipped her over the edge. Not a day goes by that I worry I'm going to get that phone call. I've tried to get her help throughout the years, but I've learned that you can't force someone to make the decision of recovery/sobriety. Despite everything that has happened, I love her unconditionally and I will support her no matter where she is in life."
"I have a few stories:
A friend of mine in junior high school got knocked up by an older dude who slimed his way into her panties with promises of marriage. She kept the baby, but he left her six months into the pregnancy when she wasn't able to 'put out.' Her parents were legal immigrants with full-time jobs and couldn't help her take care of her baby, so she had to give it up for adoption. She went into a downward spiral of depression, leading to a illegal substance addiction, prostitution, and three years later, she was found dead in a homeless tent camp.
Another school friend of mine had a dream to join a gang, frequently got A's in class and our teachers did everything they could talk him out of his enthrallment with thuggery. He was recruited by a gang fairly quickly and dropped out of school. A year later, he was shot dead in illegal substance-selling territory skirmish with a rival gang.
Had another friend in high school who was bright, talented and funny but had a fascination with joining a Chinese Tong in his neighborhood. Similar story as above, only he just vanished. No one knows where he went or what happened to him. He was an only child of a single mom who loved him. I get a sense that his lack of a father figure may have drawn him to the gangs.
Another high school friendship of mine ended when a girl who I was close with started hanging out with rich kids who had access to and regularly experimented with a cornucopia of illegal substances. Shortly thereafter all of her conversations were about all the messed up stuff and experiences she had while doing risky things. Her life revolved around the excitement of the next anticipated feeling she got when she used illegal substances. While I tried to be a shoulder to her when the behavior was starting to affect her life and nudge her in the right direction, she was so far down the road of addiction it was like talking to a brick wall. She started sleeping with one of the rich boys who fed her a specific illegal substance, routinely overdoing it, and she sort of turned into a vegetable. She would attend school but when talking with her, she would space out, not engage, look off into space almost as if she couldn't hear you. This became her new permanent state. Her parents removed her from school to go into a rehab program, and on completing it she was transferred to another school. Ran into her older brother years later who sadly informed me that they lost her, she kept relapsing and eventually ODed."
"I was friends with this dude who wasn't always the nicest to me.
One day, I confronted him about his attitude toward me, and we were okay. We were slowly rebuilding our friendship and becoming friends for a while until one of our other friends, this girl who he'd been trying to date for a long time now, finally rejected him after playing with his heart for months.
She would call him her best friend and have him go out of his way to buy expensive stuff for her, and it was just a mess. I tried to tell him how toxic she was but he didn't listen to me. He just spiraled out of control one day after she finally rejected him.
A day or two later, he was so heartbroken and desperate that he called up this other girl that he'd talk to for a while online. She didn't live too far from him, so he drove to the next county for a quickie. Well, long story short, the quickie was rather quick.
The girl's mom came home and caught them in the act. Not only was that bad enough, but it turns out the girl was only 14. (My friend had just turned 19 and we live in the South).
The mom called the police and he was arrested. He couldn't get a job for a while due to being under house arrest. Everyone he knew called him a creep and stupid for not realizing the girl was underage. I felt bad for him for a while and even reached out to him because the situation was so unbelievable and the dude made a mistake, but after he came out and said the whole thing about the 14-year-old girl, I cut ties and haven't talked to him since. Even the toxic girl that caused him to spiral found another boy toy."
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