Graveyard Shift
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People Reveal Their Most Disturbing Childhood Experiences

Updated September 24, 2020 933.7k views16 items

Though rarely talked about, childhood traumas can affect the victims well into adulthood. Harrowing events like enduring the passing of a close friend or watching a beloved family member succumb to mental illness can sometimes even result in varying degrees of PTSD. It's a wonder, truly, that any child can endure such tragedies, as many adults would not be able to cope with them.

Children are resilient, and more often than not, they survive their traumas. Some even share their experiences to encourage others and to warn those in similar situations. Reddit has created a forum where people can share the disturbing moments of their youths and in a rare turn of events, the Reddit submissions are predominantly poignant and thought-provoking. In some instance, responders even offer their condolences and inquire about the well-being of original posters. Some of the tales collected below may not be the easiest reads, but they are certainly a testament to the enduring nature of young people everywhere.

  • Two Young Children Encountered An Unsavory Older Male

    From Redditor /u/pettysnowman:

    It was the summer before I started school, and I was 5-years-old. My friends and I in the neighborhood spent a lot of time outdoors running around and playing.

    One day, we were in the pool swimming and it felt like someone was watching us but we didn't pay much attention. My mom noticed too but the person she thought she saw was only there a brief moment. This continued a few other times where we felt someone was watching us.

    On the first day of school my sister who was a few years older than me walked with me to school just down the street. [...] On the way home there was a man crouching on the side of the path, [pleasuring himself]. He motioned to my sister and I and told us to come to him. My sister grabbed my hand and we ran all the way home, shaking.

    We made it home and told my mom what had happened, and she called [the] police who then came by and asked us questions. However, the man got away. Months later my sister (9 years old) identified the man at the grocery store one day. Turns out he was only 18 years old.

    My sister and I had a hard time feeling safe in our neighborhood after that even though we had a restraining order.

  • This Mom Didn't Want To 'Deal With' Her Teenager

    From Redditor /u/broccolimac:

    When I was 13, spending Mother's Day with my mom, she got drunk and told me all of the reasons she left me and my dad (my dad had full custody of me, I just saw my mom every now and then). She told me she was cheating on my dad, doing drugs with her new guy, and that she didn't want to "deal with me" as a teenager. That one really paved the path to our relationship (or lack of one).

  • She Saw Her Father Overdose

    From Redditor /u/Kristaboo14:

    Watching my father OD on heroin when I was 4 years old. Convulsing, shaking and sweating, telling me goodbye and that he loved me. He lived, thankfully. But now I have a four-year-old. And I couldn't imagine having her see something like that.

  • A Man Stared At Him Through The Window

    From Redditor /u/vacationbeard:

    Until the age of 4, I lived in an old, lower income neighborhood that was in slow decline. The small house we lived in sat on a corner and had a rear detached garage. The side street was more of an alley and was mainly used for kids going back and forth between two streets. My bedroom window faced the side street and there were vines that covered more than half my window, but I could see through to the side yard and street.

    One night my mom must have forgotten to pull my shade and I laid in my bed across the room looking out the window. It bothered me that the shade was up and throughout the night I would wake up and look. Each time it was the same: vines, branches, and faint light from the corner streetlight illuminating the neighbor’s fence across the street.

    At one point, I woke and stared at the window for a long time. My brain finally sensed something wrong and my vision clicked into focus at one part of the vine-covered portion of the window. There were eyes staring at me through a gap in the vines! My 4-year-old self suffered a silent heart attack as I clenched my eyes shut and moved under the blankets.

    I don’t know how long I stayed like that but sometime later that night (morning actually) our doorbell rang. I heard it and jumped from bed and moved down the hall. I have an image of my dad standing by the door, pistol in hand, saying, "Who is it?" At that point I told my mom about the face in the window. The police investigated and they discovered that somebody had also attempted to light our garage on fire. As far as I know they never caught the person and my parents had no known enemies. So apparently some random, creepy stranger decided to peep in my window before ringing our doorbell at 4 AM. and attempting to light our garage on fire.