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.
From Redditor /u/angelarosewood:
I was annoying my mother when I was around seven, kept pestering her for something which I can't remember now, probably something stupid. Then her demeanor changed. Her expression was of a different [person], and she became very still.
I asked her what was wrong, and she replied 'You have ten seconds to run. You've made me very, very angry.' Of course... I was like, 'Mummy, what?' and at first she started counting down [...] very slowly, then she whispered [...] 'Run...' That's when I started pegging it up the stairs, crying my lungs out, and she started running after me [...] trying to grab onto my ankles.
I managed to run into the toilet and lock it, while she was banging and screaming outside of the door. I have never been more frightened in my life. I stayed locked inside there for what felt like hours, until my dad came back home from work and softly told me to come out and comforted me.
From Redditor /u/stygeanhugh:
My mother is seriously mentally ill, but in a way that she has hid from most people beyond close family. My father worked nights and my grandma, who lived in the same apartment complex, babysat me during the day while Mom worked and Dad slept. One night after walking home from Grandma's, I came in to find my bedroom spotless. My mom had made my bed and turned down the blanket, having tucked my pajamas underneath as if someone were lying there. She'd even wrapped the arm of my [pajamas] around my bear. She sat completely still and quiet next to my bed, holding one of the pajama sleeves.
When she saw me, [it seemed] like she didn't recognize me. She said, 'Who are you?' Playing along, I replied, 'It's me" [...] I should add that my mother was very [cruel] both physically and mentally. She often gets this look on her face that is hard to describe except to say she is not there at all. My therapist calls it disassociating. This was the look she had that night and being familiar with her pre-abuse behavior, I turned on my [heels] telling her I was going back to my grandma's.
She beat me to the door, blocking it and proceeded to tell me she didn't know me, but I couldn't leave because she wanted to tell me about her daughter. She then went in to detail about how much I looked like her daughter and how I was about the same age as [her daughter] before she [passed] [...] I was and am thoroughly convinced that she intended to [end my life] that night.
From Redditor /u/PumpkinStem:
When I was about 6, my dad offered me as collateral to a gas station owner about 30 minutes away from my house. He said he'd come back and pay, which surprisingly he did, but for an hour I was stuck alone with a man I didn't know, in a place I didn't know, in the middle of nowhere. I'll never forget the eternity I spent staring at the tiled floor, waiting for my father to come back.
From Redditor /u/0w1:
There was this old man that lived a couple houses down from my childhood home. He and his wife seemed like perfectly normal people and they were pretty sociable with the rest of the neighbors, and some of the neighborhood kids even called him "uncle."
So, for whatever reason, the girl who lived next door to me invites me over to [the man's house], where her parents were sitting in his garage with him drinking beer and [hanging out].
I start wandering around his backyard, unsupervised, when I had the misfortune of looking behind his shed. In the little nook between his shed and his back fence was a pile of dead small animals.
Squirrels, chipmunks, and little songbirds like bluejays were piled up almost a foot tall. Little kid me, I wasn't sure what to do about it, so I told my parents. They didn't believe me, so I dropped the issue.
As an adult though, sometimes I wonder what the heck was up with that guy?