Most of us, at our cores, are good people. We try to do the right thing, to have the right reaction, to make other people happier – not sadder – for knowing or coming into contact with us.
It doesn’t always work out that way, but the proof that we care is in the way we can’t forget the days things didn’t go right.
18. That’ll stick with you.
The worst thing I did in my life was viewed as a kindness by the people I did it to. I was a teenager, and after breaking up with my boyfriend I quickly met another guy. We did some physical things (not sex, though he tried to pressure me) but then I started to realize that he wasn’t a good guy.
It made me appreciate my ex and I wanted to get back with him, but I knew this other guy would keep sniffing around me unless something distracted him. I introduced him to my friend, who was about to turn 18 and was desperate to lose her virginity. I knew he’d be happy to oblige, and he would leave me alone because he’d be getting some.
They both were happy to be introduced, both got something they wanted, but I still feel guilty because I know I had a selfish motive. I sold my friend out to a slimy guy to get out of a problem I caused for myself.
17. What a horrible memory for a child to have.
A guy overdosed in our apartment when I was 9. I was used to seeing it because my addict mom had addict friends who just kinda hung around.
I remember watching him, I don’t even know what his name was since I was never introduced to anyone, but he seemed really out there on the oxycodone and was snoring weird. I told my mom but she said not to call 911 because the cops would come.
So I just sat there with my stuffed bunny and watched him sleep and then he got quiet. He died on our couch and I was too afraid of my mom to call anyone. I could have saved him maybe.
He couldn’t have been older than 35.
Mom cleaned all the drugs out of the apartment and called 911 later. She made up a story about him being an ex who showed up on drugs and was going to sleep it off on our couch, they looked around, took the body, and left.
I still think about him sometimes and wonder if he had anyone in his life that would’ve wanted to be with him. Sitting on a dirty couch surrounded by random people with some kid staring at you is a sad way to die to me.
16. Existential crisis.
I am terrified of what my future looks like.
I’m a cook. I have no drive, almost no motivation. I can’t keep doing this when I’m 40, or 50, or even 60. I have no idea what I want to do with my life.
How am I going to take care of myself in the future?
15. It makes your heart ache.
How little I see my mother and grandmother (work across the world), and how time’s flying by. They look older every time I see them now, which is every ~3 months pre-corona.
When I first moved out, it wasn’t like that. It’s like grandma hit 88, mom hit 60 and then… their aging accelerated.
They’re not meant to grow old, only I am…
14. It really is the little things.
For me it’s none of my life’s “great” wrongs. The big mistakes I made in life were ones made honestly, in sh*t circumstances where there probably was no right answer. They were costly. I’ll probably always pay for them. But I’m at peace with that.
The ones that get me are the stupid little ones. I didn’t stop and give that girl and umbrella when she was standing in the rain. I didn’t even think of it until it was too late. Stuff like that. I don’t blame people for screwing up the big things in life. They’re called the big things because they are bigger than you, and it’s real easy to get run over by them.
It’s these little things, where we legitimately should have known better, where it would have been easy to do the right thing…that sh*t is what I’m afraid of. You know…if someone’s waiting to judge us when we die.
13. It takes time to become a good person, for most of us.
One time I was at the science center on a field trip and we were walking in a line, as one does, when another group from a different school walked by in the same hallway.
Among these children one was a young boy, and I sh*t you not, his entire face was covered in acne. There was not a single spot on this young man’s face that didn’t have a boil on it. It wasn’t pizza-face, it was like a proper disfigurement. His face was all… bubbly.
I had never seen this before, let alone prepared for it, so I was shocked. Taken aback. This guttural reaction was so powerful that I cringed immensely fu*king hard at his tiny pimply face. In that moment, in that brief half-second interaction, I saw that face shatter into despair. Shame. And then he was gone. I never saw him again.
I still think about it sometimes and feel really fu*king bad about it.
12. This is terribly sad.
My mother sent our dog to the vet to be euthanized alone. I knew she had to be put down, her kidneys were failing, she was senile and almost entirely incontinent, but I had no idea that neither my mother nor my sister intended to stay with her to the end. I wasn’t there because she deteriorated fast and I live hours away, but if I had known no one else was willing to go with her I would have dropped everything and driven home to do it.
I know it’s not technically my fault, but when I think about it I’m fu*king distraught. She was our family dog for 14 years and they took her to a place she was terrified of and let her die surrounded by strangers. Mom said she couldn’t do it, that it was too hard. I think that’s bullsh*t, she should have been strong for our girl or called me so I could do it. She had been with us for more than half my life, and she wasn’t perfect but she was a good girl, damn it.
Rest In Peace, Kyah, my sweet, dopey good girl.
11. The rules aren’t always fair.
Things I did while working as an ICU nurse.
Many patients or families would want “everything done” and so that is what we did, but sometimes, these things felt morally wrong. The treatments could be painful or uncomfortable and the patients often passed away despite our best efforts.
Instead of passing away peacefully surrounded by family, they passed away in ICU rooms filled with strangers and noisy equipment with tubes coming out of every possible hole in their bodies. Sometimes, they were intubated and sedated and never got to say goodbye to loved ones. God forgive me.
10. This is not a good aunt.
Part of me believes I was responsible for my grandma passing away. I was only 8 at the time. I had never experienced anyone dying before, so I didn’t even know what was going on with her. All I knew was that everyone went every day to see her at the nursing home and people were sad.
I always wanted to go because I loved seeing her and hearing her stories. During one of the visits, I remember feeling super warm and having a horrible stomach ache. When I got home I threw up for hours and found out I had a very high fever. The next morning my grandma passed away.
My aunt found out I was sick the night before she passed and immediately blamed her death on me. She said grandma probably caught my sickness and it was too much for her body to handle, so she passed.
I know it’s not true, but there’s still the guilt I feel for visiting her when I was sick. I don’t think I’m ever going to lose that guilt.
9. It just hits you sometimes.
The fact that time is not as abundant as it feels like.
8. What a horrible adult.
The kid with CP at youth football camp (ages 8-10).
He was a nice kid. Super eager, did his best and god damnit he loved football. But he had CP. He could run but in his own fashion. He could catch, but only like a breadbasket.
All of camp was non-contact. Just drills and practice. At the end of the week long camp we played flag football games in a tournament fashion. It was amazing. Such a blast.
The commissioner said he couldn’t play.
I’ll never forget how he cried and begged. He pleaded to play. I’ll never forget how he bawled, “why can’t I play?! Why can’t I play!?”
I knew I was watching something tragic but didn’t know the weight of it. We played the games, he was given a clipboard and that was that. But you could see that spark and passion he had all through camp was gone from his eyes. The games weren’t the same. My father, who was a coach in the league came up to me after the games and asked me about it. I was still very upset from it.
I asked why he couldn’t play. My father said it was too dangerous for him. I said how unfair that was.
My father agreed. He told me to remember him. Remember how he cried. He said to remember how lucky I am that I can do the things I can do. He said to remember those that can’t. He said to remember how they would do anything to do the smallest things.
I remember that kid from time to time. I don’t remember him enough.
7. Lesson learned, I guess.
In the 5th grade a couple of us hooligans snuck back into school during recess and took most of our teachers candy collection (that she would use as rewards or prizes). When she found out someone stole her candy, she started bawling her eyes out about how that candy comes out of her pocket and can’t believe students would take advantage of her kindness.
I felt so fu*king bad and always hoped we didn’t hurt her willingness to go above and beyond for her students, I’m sorry Ms. Johnson 🙁
6. More now than ever.
honestly? the future of humanity. I worry a lot if we as a species are doomed. It’s a terrifying thing.
5. We never appreciate our grandparents enough as kids.
The way we treated our great-grandmother who was a saint. I loved her dearly but made fun of her. That woman worked her ass off and never complained.
I never heard her say a bad word against anyone, yet I know I hurt her feelings. Instead of being a jerk to her, I should have striven to be more like her.
4. You just never know.
What weighs on me, is something not from too long ago.
My little sister came into my room in the morning, crying, shaking and visible very upset. And she hugged me, and cried even more. When I asked what was wrong, she begged something of me that made my blood go cold.
“Please, don’t kill yourself,”
She had a nightmare that I committed.
The thing is, I almost did, 2 months before that. I thought nobody cared for me, and if my own family didn’t love me, than what was the point of living? I never got down to it, and didn’t try it, but it was very close.
And then came my sister, crying, out of herself with grief because she saw me do it in a dream. I can’t even imagine how it would have effected her if I did it for real. The fact that I almost put her through something like that, it makes me tear up every time I think about it. Even now I’m writing this with tears in my eyes.
I took the love of my sister and my family for granted, but I never will again.
3. No way around it.
Survivor’s guilt. It always feels like there was something I should of done, or like I should have died instead of one of them. That they didn’t deserve it but I deserved to die and that I would trade places in an instant.
I know I couldn’t have done anything. I know I can’t trade places no matter how badly I want to. Terrorism doesn’t really ask for your opinions
2. This person’s heart is gold.
When I was younger, I found a baby bunny in our garden. I told my mom, and she told me to leave the bunny alone. Still, I’d move a leaf or two to give it shade if the sun is shining right on it. I’d constantly check on, cuz it looked so cute. But one day, it stopped moving. I called my mom, and she looks at me really sad and tells me it died.
Honestly, a part of me died that day. Like its been years, but I just can’t get over it. Why did such an innocent creature have to die? If God really is fair, why wasn’t he fair to that bunny (I come from a religious Hindu family)? But more importantly, why couldn’t I save it? If I checked more often, maybe I would have seen something that could have saved it. I know I couldn’t have done anything, but it still hurts man.
1. I hope it gets better.
I don’t think I’m ever going to be happy anymore. I feel so far gone with my problems. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like the innocent child I once was.
I might make improvements and get better over time… but I feel like the water is already murky and I’m chained to my past. I suppose I could be more specific… but it’s just too depressing to even talk about.
I feel all of these like a stab to the heart.
Do you have a memory like this? We would love if you would share it in the comments.