Certain scars from childhood are so harmful that they never heal.
And I’m not talking about physical ones.
I’m referring to the things we see as kids that we carry with us throughout our lives because they were traumatic and painful.
AskReddit users opened up about what they witnessed as kids that still haunts them.
Let’s take a look at their stories.
1. The accident.
“I think I was 6 or 7 years old and was going to the grocery store with my mom and grandma when we saw a really bad accident.
A kid, who hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt, flew out the windshield and landed in front of my mom’s car. My mom ripped my shirt off and ran to help stop the bleeding while they tried to get help. I don’t remember if cell phones were a common thing at the time, but it felt like an eternity of screaming until an ambulance arrived.
I don’t actually know if the kid survived but the way his body just landed like a bag of bricks is forever burned into my brain.”
“At 9 years old I walked in on my uncle beating my aunt.
I stayed the night with my cousins often. They were 8 and 4. My aunt and uncle had just split because my aunt caught him cheating and found out he was addicted to drugs. My cousins were upset and my mom thought it might cheer them up if I stayed the night we them.
The next morning I heard screaming from the garage. We went to see what was going on and seen him hitting my aunt. My dad had a friend who lived just a couple houses down so I told my cousins we needed to hide and we went to his house. His wife was home and I told her what was going on. She brought us inside and called 911 then my parents.
My uncle was gone before the police got there but he was arrested and sent to prison. My aunt didn’t have any serious physical injuries thankfully.”
3. What a jerk.
“My dad: “Why is she so ugly?”
I was 8. I went to the mirror and cried. It was the first time I ever realised that I could actually look at myself with judgement.
It never stopped.”
4. A tragedy.
“My mom picked me and my sister up from elementary school and when we got home I ran upstairs to say hi to my dad who was usually at his computer in their room.
He wasn’t there so I ran into their bathroom and apparently found my dad with his wrists cuts in a full bathtub of water. The only thing I can really remember about that day is the visual of blood spots on wet white tile..”
5. Decades of grieving.
“My brother’s death. I was five; he was two. Mom tried CRP on him. She was a nurse.
He had undiagnosed cystic fibrosis (he was adopted, so no family medical history was known.) Took me decades to get over that.”
“My dad telling his mother over the phone that he’d found me and was coming right over.
I walked home from school at that age and would take my time, chatting with folks outside the school, maybe stopping at the store or whatever on the way, but that day I was taking a bit on the longer side.
She’d called him to come over because she’d just found my grandfather had shot himself in the head. My father had, in a panic, wanted to ensure I was home safe before he went over to help her.
I still feel so guilty for delaying him. He was so upset–not mad at me–just trying to not cry I think.”
7. On edge.
“My Dad, his temper, and his drunken tirades. One night, he was walking around the house with a loaded pis**l (a .357 I think?) after again consuming large amounts of hard liq**r.
I think he wanted to be prepared in case Mom called the police. At one point that night, the gu** discharged, leaving a hole in the mattress of my parents’ bed. I was in high school at the time. Whenever he was at home, I was always on edge.
Looking back, I think it was s**t like this that contributed greatly to my decision to move far away from home after graduating college.”
8. Incident at the swamp.
“In middle school.
Me and a group of friends skipped school one day to go to play a soccer match. One of our friends arrived late to the match and with the first touch of the ball he literally blew the ball (he made it explode with one kick) so we couldn’t find anything to do then he suggested to go to swim in the swamp. We all agreed because it was hot that day.
When he suggested it we all thought he can swim like its a normal thing for him. Turns out he couldn’t swim and drowned that day and we couldn’t do anything because we were like 12 years old at that time and we have no idea how to save someone.”
“From my bed, if the doors were both open, I could see my parents’ bed.
I heard noises and woke up one night, and saw them going at it.
Made sure my door was closed EVERY NIGHT from then on.”
10. Not forgiven.
“That my dad thought that my mom was just overreacting to a stomach ache and wouldn’t take her to a hospital, but in reality her appendix was about to explode.
Thank god my uncle brought her to a hospital, otherwise she would be gone by now.
Still messes up my viewpoint on my dad 20 years later.”
“When I was 10 my grandmother said “ if you would have just answered the phone none of us would be here now would we?” at my dad’s funeral after he committed s**cide and I was his last phone call.
Think about that every day of my life.”
12. A bad situation.
“When I was 9 years old, my mom had a hysterectomy, so my aunt came over to babysit me for a few days while she was in the hospital.
The day my mom was supposed to come home, she called the house and asked to speak to my aunt. My aunt is hard of hearing, so she put the phone on speaker.
As I was walking away, I heard my mom say “she can’t hear you, right?”. My aunt replied no, and my mom proceeded to tell her that there was complications with the surgery, and that the night before as she had gotten up to go to the bathroom, her stitches had come undone. She bled out onto the floor and a nurse found her on the ground. She was worried she wasn’t going to make it.
I’m not sure why my aunt didn’t think I couldn’t hear all of this while the phone was on speaker. I pretended I didn’t hear anything, and ran up to my room, crying the entire night thinking my mom wouldn’t come home.
Everything turned out fine and she was back home a week later. But at 9 years old, overhearing her describe that situation still haunts me.”
“My mom’s boyfriend at the time decided a good punishment for me at age 7 was to lock me out of the house, in a nightgown, at about 10 pm in winter.
My grandparents lived across the yard, so my barefooted self walked through the snow to ask if I could stay with them. Obviously my grandfather was outraged, so he went over there to “knock some sense into the guy”.
I was dumb and went back to the house to see my mom standing between my grandfather and her boyfriend holding a knife to her wrist and basically saying if my grandfather tried to do anything to him she’d k**l herself.
That’s just one of many fun stories I have of that “lovely man” who is now my stepdad.”
“My father met my mother when she was very young in a foreign country.
Due to age difference (he was 40, she was 25) they would argue a lot, my mom being young, she wanted to go out a lot and live her life. I walked up into their room once my father trying to suffocate my mother with a pillow. I was around 6 years old.
When my father saw me he completely stopped (he loved me so much despite the problems with my mother), and jumped in to hug me and took me to the other room. She called the police and put a restriction order on him.
To this day my mother says I saved her life, but that image has never left.”
15. What an a**hole.
“I was about six at a party at my dad’s secretary’s house.
He thought it’d be funny to throw me (fully clothed and unable to swim at the time) into the pool and laugh at me in front of everyone. I was so humiliated and embarrassed that my own father would use me as a prop to make his moron friends laugh.
I later found out he was f**king his secretary on the side and is the father of her daughters.”
16. Sounds of pain.
“My mom is a very strict person when it comes to school so when we do bad we get punished heavily.
I remember multiple times when my sister would get an F and would get beaten and yelled at. I still remember the guttural screams of pain when she got hit. I had many sleepless nights of overhearing my sister sobbing and screaming because of my mom.
Happened so much that I got desensitized to it.”
“Overheard our dad say to our stepmother, “if I could go back in time and never have those kids I would do, so I could only have your children”.”
18. Scarred for life.
“My grandparents getting it on.
There’s nothing more to be said.”
“Being called a “Useless, useless evil child that only gets his siblings in trouble. So weak and frail and useless.”
My Baba said this about me to my Auntie.
It sounds harsher in Russian.”
“When I was in 3rd grade, my class took a field trip to a history museum in the capital of the state I lived in at the time.
After the tours were over and we had eaten lunch, we piled onto the buses and started to leave. To put it nicely, the capital wasn’t a very nice place, high crime rate, bad roads, worn down houses, that kind of stuff. Anyways, the bus was stopped at a stop light and my friend and I were playing the alphabet game, so we were naturally looking outside the window at the time.
Should’ve just slept the way back, because we saw a guy get mugged and s**bbed right at the crosswalk. Parents and teachers started to freak out, one parent vomited, the bus driver just floored it out of there. Kinda screwed everything up at the school for the next few weeks, the word got out real fast and we had to have an assembly about it.
Occasionally still have nightmares about the whole thing, never found out if the guy ever got medical attention or not, so it’s possible I watched a man die when I was just a small kid. To this day I can’t drive through that city, if I have to get close to it in any way I take a different route.”
“When I was three my grandma d**d in her sleep and everyone went crazy.
I remember her boyfriend for some reason sneaking me in to see her body and then just sobbing a lot and saying I needed closure.
I wouldn’t call it bad trauma, especially compare to a lot of other things, but decades later I still remember what she, her boyfriend and the room looks like vividly and it comes up in my head sometimes without me even thinking about it.”2
22. This is awful.
“I grew up near a highway with a 70 mph speed limit.
One day our dog got out of our yard and ran out onto the highway while I was helplessly trying to call it back. I’ll never forget the sight of it getting hit, going under the bumper and then bouncing between the pavement and the underside of the van. At least the driver had tried to stop.
He got out and dragged the body off the road and just looked up at me and said “he’s d**d” with a kind of half shrug. Nothing more anyone could have said or done after that”
23. A terrible sight.
“When I was about 6 I saw this guy dragging a kid covered in blood over a hill.
I ran inside my house panicked my dad called the cops.
Turned out the guy was mad that this kid beat up his son not sure what happened on other side of hill but he got arrested.”
24. Uh oh…
“Overheard a relative angrily confronting another relative about their homemade p**n tape. as said tape was playing.
I get the shivers every time the memory invades my thoughts.”
25. Sounds like a terrible person!
“My grandmother calling me fat, ugly, stupid and worthless when I was about 5-6 years old.
She’d have long, mocking conversations with her husband, family and even my mother about all that was wrong with me. She never said those things directly to me, she tried avoiding talking to or even looking at me as much as she could, she just made sure I always was close enough to hear her say it.
I have a whole conga line of trauma, but those years of abuse really left a mark. She’s on her deathbed now and I’ll be popping champagne when she’s gone.
It’s “funny”, though: Around the same age, I saw at least two badly damaged bodies (pedestrians hit by a car) and a horse suddenly collapsing and dying in front of my eyes, but had absolutely no reaction to that. 25 years later I still hurt from being called ugly though.”
26. Who was it…?
“Me: Imagine knowing a m**derer
Mom: You do
Mom: I won’t tell you as you will never look at them the same.
Me: Then why did you tell me?
Decades later and I still haven’t figured out who it is.”
Did you see or hear something when you were. a kid that still bothers you?
If so, talk to us in the comments.
Thanks in advance!