June 25, 2024 | Samantha Henman

"I Need To Get This Off My Chest"

Sometimes there are things that really weigh on us—but there’s no possible way to tell anyone about them. When you just need to get something off your chest, there’s nothing like the anonymity of the Internet. These confessions just had to come out—and they go from heartwarming to absolutely heartbreaking.

1. My Secret Identity

My birth mom had me when she was 14, and I was given up for adoption. My parents told me about her growing up. I still have the letter she wrote me, which she said they could give to me if they wanted. It’s crazy reading it sometimes and knowing it was a literal child who wrote it.

It says she’s sorry she couldn’t be my mommy but she hopes I’m happy. She was open to having contact but we moved for my dad’s job when I was 11 and then it seemed impossible to find her. But luckily…I did. I still can't believe what I'm doing. She’s working at this small restaurant and I keep going but she doesn’t know it’s me. We talk sometimes.

She seems like a nice lady. Sometimes when she says something like “Do you want a refill, honey” or uses another term like that, I wanna tell her. I don’t know why it makes me nervous. We talk sometimes and she seems really genuine. If it’s not super busy she’s more open to talking about random stuff.

I literally drive two hours to come eat at this place just to see her. And it’s like she knows me already because I’m there once or twice a week for the past three months so she always says hi with a big smile. But man…if only she knew.

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2. Sink Or Swim

Today is the two-year anniversary of losing my dad. I am staying with my grandparents on my dad’s side right now because, long story short, after my dad’s passing, my mom started seeing a guy who, in my opinion, clearly prefers my brother, and mom’s new boyfriend and I can’t live in the same house. I love my mom but I’m old enough now for her to respect my decision to live with my grandparents for the summer.

Today was an emotional day, of course. My grandmom is very sentimental and recently she has been putting together photo albums, one of my dad, one of his brother, of me, and of my brother. Today my grandmom and I were looking through the one of my dad, the bulk of which is photos of him as a kid/teen when he lived with my grandparents.

It however, it has a few more recent photos. One of these recent photos caught my attention. See I have a type of epilepsy that gives me these occasional “jerks” or spasms in my arms and legs. Because of this I’ve never been able to go in water so I never learned to swim. Despite this we went to the beach a lot as a family. The photo that stood out to me was one of my dad in his 20s, so a bit before I was born, treading water in the ocean, clearly very deep in.

My grandmother told me that his brother took the photo when the two of them and their then-girlfriends went cliff diving. I said, but I didn't think dad could swim? That’s when I learned the heartbreaking truth. She was confused and said of course he could, did I really think he was the kind of person to not know how to swim? But here’s the thing—for as long as I can remember, on our frequent family visits to the beach, my dad had told me he couldn’t swim as he was scared of the water so could I keep him company on the beach?

This had been great for me of course, as I didn’t want to be alone while my mom and brother went swimming, and we would find other games and things to do while they were in the ocean. To be honest it had always seemed silly to me that he was scared of water. He was a marathon runner and generally a very sporty person who grew up in California so I didn’t get why he never just learned.

But now I realize that of course he could swim. He knew I didn’t want to be a liability because of my condition, and that if I thought he wanted to go I would tell him to go without me and leave me behind, so he told me he couldn’t swim. He didn’t think I’d ever find out what a nice thing he was doing for me and yet he still did it every time. Especially today, that sent me over the edge. Thank you dad.

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3. The Truth Always Comes Out

I was 21 when my fiancé asked me to marry him. He was the absolute light of my life. We had known each other since pre-school, our families are very close. He would come and have dinner with us on a daily basis and vice versa. He doesn't have any siblings but I have two older sisters, which is very important as he was also very close with them.

We grew up together. When we started dating, I don't think our parents stopped celebrating for weeks. He helped me deal with a lot of my anxiety and even when I gained a little weight and my mother berated me saying he was going to leave me, he told her off and said he loved me for who I was, not for what I looked like, even though he claimed I was the most beautiful girl in the world to him.

We were only engaged for 6 months. Then the horrific incident happened. My middle oldest sister, let’s call her Nicky, was a very cold person. She never showed any affection, and she only ever opened up to my fiancé as she said she saw him as a brother and he also helped her through a lot of her dark times such as battling addiction.

She and I never saw eye-to-eye; I loved her dearly because she was my sister but didn't like her as a person. Out of the blue she tells me she wants to take me clubbing as we had never been together before and she felt bad that she was so distant with me. I agreed and that night we went out.

Clubbing wasn't really my style but once I had a few drinks, I loosened up a little and began having fun. The night was going smoothly until Nicky spotted a guy across the room who she claimed she wanted to "climb like a tree" She walked over to him and within a few minutes she was back and she had a sour expression on her face.

I asked her what was up but she never said anything. I kept pressing because I didn’t want our night to be ruined, she then told me the guy didn't want her number but he wanted mine instead. I told her he was a loser and there were plenty of guys around who would love to be with a girl like her. She didn't budge though.

She told me she needed to use the restroom and then we would leave. I waited for other an hour, during this time I was sipping on a lot of different cocktails, I then started feeling really dizzy and lightheaded. I figured I'd just cab it home as I was certain Nicky had left.

On the way out, I bumped into a friend of Nicky's whom she had briefly dated. He asked me If I needed a hand to my car and I explained I was getting a cab. He said he was getting ready to leave and we could share one. I told him okay and we walked out of the club together and into the first cab we saw. I tried to find my phone in my purse but I felt myself getting dizzier and dizzier.

I don't remember what happened next as I blacked out, and the next morning I woke up on a hard sofa, my head pounding. When I came to, I realized I was in Nicky's friend’s house and my phone was sitting on the glass table in front of me, but the battery was depleted.  When he noticed I was awake, he offered some tablets and water and explained that I had passed out in the cab and he didn’t remember my parents' address so he just picked me up and took me back here where he laid me on the sofa.

I told him I needed to go home as my fiancé would be worried. He called a cab and I left. When I arrived at my parents’ house, my mother, father, Nicky, my fiancé, and his parents were all standing in the living room. What happened next has haunted me ever since. I thought they were worried about me but the instant I opened my mouth, my fiancé asked how could I do this to him?

I tried to explain that my phone went flat but he then went on screaming about how could I cheat on him. I was baffled. Why would he think that? I tried to explain the night’s events but I kept getting cut off. Nicky then chimed in and said I was a liar and how could I be so heartless to a man who has been there for me through thick and thin.

She went on to say I kept flirting with random guys all night and then when she went to the bathroom, she saw me leave with her friend. I told her what had happened and she showed me photos on her phone where as we were leaving, his hand was on my back ushering me outside.

Yes the photo did look horrible and I was so inebriated I didn't even realize his hand was on my back at all. My fiancé was so angry, he kept shouting and his mom and mine were both crying. I then asked Nicky to call her friend and he would confirm nothing happened. But when she called him, he told a completely different story.

He said I begged him to take me back to his and when he did, we slept together multiple times. That’s when I made a disturbing realization.  I saw red and started crying and yelling at Nicky because I knew she had organized this whole thing to make me look bad. I begged my fiancé to believe me, but he just shook his head and left.

When everyone had cleared out, my mother slapped me across the face and told me to get out. I left and went to a friend’s house where I stayed for a few nights. During those nights I called my fiancé crying and pleading with him to believe me that nothing happened but it all fell on deaf ears as he never returned any of my calls or texts.

My mom texted me and told me she was kicking me out and that she couldn’t believe I would do such a thing and a lot of hurtful other things I don't think I could repeat here. She didn't even give me time to get my things as she threw everything out. I was now homeless. None of my family would take me in, as they chose my fiancé and mother's side.

I was homeless and single in less than a day and a half. My entire world had been taken away because of Nicky's lies. Now for weeks I tried everything to get my fiancé back and my family. The limit for me though was when Christmas time had come and I went over to my mother’s house to try and reconcile.

I was sleeping from couch to couch during this time. When I got to my parents’ house, I knocked on the door but no one answered. My friend then called me and told me she just saw on Facebook that my family were in another state celebrating Christmas and they had posted pictures online.

Everyone was there. My sisters, parents, grandparents and even my fiancé and his family. When I saw the photos, I couldn't stop crying as they all looked so happy. I cried for days and days before deciding to block them all. I even returned my engagement ring. Then I came up with a plan. My friend knew someone a couple of hours away who was looking for some help in his restaurant and he even had living arrangements above where he worked so I could get rent at a cheap price and work at the same time.

I wanted to start over with my life as it hurt me that no one took my side and they all left me to fend for myself. I was able to move pretty quickly and was doing well. The apartment was tiny and I had to work 10+ hours almost every day, but I was able to save a lot of money. I’m not living in the apartment anymore, I was able to rent a much nicer condo but I am still working at the restaurant as assistant manager.

Now it has been roughly two years since I left and I have not spoken to any of my family. I have no idea what is going with them—until I got a knock on my door. It was my ex-fiancé. I was shocked to say the least. All these feelings came rushing back and all I wanted to do was jump into his arms.

But then I remembered the pain I had felt and tried to slam the door in his face. He stopped it and asked that I let him explain. He said that Nicky had gotten married and she had confessed that she lied about the situation because she had found someone she loved so much and realized what a horrible thing she had done.

I asked him how he found me and he said my friend told him. My entire family had been trying to get in touch with me and want to see me. I told him I needed time to see if I even wanted to have them in my life. He left and I have been a mess since. I don't know what to do. I know I will never ever forgive Nicky, she could rot for all I care.

But it’s hard because my other family and fiancé didn't know she was lying, Still, I also felt like they abandoned me too quickly without letting me explain my side. I don't know if I should forgive them.

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4. Kismet

This happened when I was 18 and in need of a heart transplant, waiting on a list. We were waiting for months. Then just like that, we got the call and it changed my life. I was so so grateful to the donor, my mom and I even made our own letters to send to the family. However, they never wanted contact, which I respected.

This man saved my life yeah—but theirs was all heartbreak. For years I was always grateful for that sacrifice but even more now that my girlfriend and I met years later, and now we’re expecting a baby boy in August. Also because we know the whole truth now.  She never talked about her brother much, so all I knew was that he’d passed years earlier.

His birthday was the other week. My girl wanted to visit his grave because they haven’t done it in a while. She opened up about his car accident, being on life support until they decided to take him off it and since he was registered as an organ donor…Well, the exact date of his passing is when I got called in for the heart transplant.

Me and my girlfriend decided to find out the truth because her family was grieving so much, they never looked at the letter that the recipient of her brother’s heart had sent them. We had a long talk with her mom about this because if she’d rather not know then we’ll drop it. Her mom gave us her blessing to find out.

Luckily she never got rid of the letter—she only never got around to reading it because it was too painful. That’s how we found out that I had her brother’s heart. It was only my first name that I mentioned, but I remembered every word I said on that letter. We cried for hours. All this time life brought us together in this crazy way and neither of us ever knew.

It’s too wild. He gave me a chance to be alive to meet the love of my life and start a family with her. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world, all thanks to him.

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5. Remember Me

There was a boy in my neighborhood that I had a crush on as a kid. Nothing came of it and we were never particularly close. Years later he perished in a car accident he was at fault for, and it took the lives of several people. No substances involved. It was snowy, slick, and he was a new driver. I felt horrible for everyone, but especially his poor mother.

His mom was a single parent who struggled financially. From what I understand, she practically bankrupted herself to pay for the funeral and for another car. On top of losing her only child. So, I secretly leave him offerings periodically. Sometimes near his birthday, the last day of his life, or Christmas.

I always leave it before the date, so his mom sees it. Apparently she posts about it on Facebook, all excited someone still remembers her son and wondering who it could be.

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6. One Last Glance

I was bored at work so I decided to "visit" my hometown in Google Maps. What I found made me burst into tears. I haven't been back in more than three years. I worked out my path from my old school to my grandparents' house in street view and saw my grandpa sitting on the porch.

He did that a lot after his disease worsened in 2015. By mid-2016 he was immobile and barely coherent. I didn't get to visit him a lot because I lived in the city. He passed in November of that year. The image is kind of blurry but it's unmistakably him. Seeing him there just gave me all sorts of emotions and I'm trying so hard to hide the fact that I'm crying at my desk. I hope he's doing okay. I miss him a lot.

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7. Teach A Man To Fish…

I was 17, you were a jerk, and you couldn’t help but state the obvious when you came up. “Got a flat tire". It wasn’t a question. “Betcha don’t know how to change it,” again, not a question. “I bet you don’t even know where your spare tire is”.

All your non-questions where met with “no sirs,” to which you berated my father for ever letting his daughter on the road without know how to change her own tire. I thought you were the biggest jerk as you made me do all the hard work after a seven- hour shift at 11 o’clock at night. But I remembered every step of the process like it was yesterday.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve changed a tire, but today, because of you, I changed my own tire. Thank you for caring enough to teach a stranger a helpful lesson I’ll never forget.

I Need To Get This Off My ChestFlickr, Charles Nadeau

8. It’s Not What You Think

My boyfriend was previously married in his twenties. He never talks about her much, just that it was something that happened in his life and he doesn't think of her much anymore. He's never said anything bad about her, but he has indicated that she had some mental health issues that lead to the decline of their marriage.

All in all, I figured her loss was my gain, as my boyfriend is the sweetest, kindest partner I have ever had. Today he is at work, but told me I could go into his place to hang out before he got off. I got on his laptop to watch some Netflix, and found it open to Facebook. There was a chat box open with a woman's name. It took me a minute, but I eventually recognized it was his ex-wife.

For a horrible few seconds I thought my whole happy relationship was about to crumble. But then I read them and everything took on a new meaning. She messaged first. She seemed frantic, maybe in the midst of a mental health crisis. She told him she desperately wanted him back, and claimed he is the only man who ever treated her with kindness. She was practically begging.

My boyfriend responded to her that he is in a happy relationship and he will not respond to any contact like that again (and I let out I sigh of relief). But he went on to tell her that, while they will never be able to be friends, he did believe she is a good person. However, her mental health issues make it impossible for her to form a stable and healthy relationship with others. He told her he hopes she can find therapy that works for her.

He told her that he never wants to know her again, but he does hope that she can eventually have a stable and happy life. But that it won't happen until she confronts her troubles. He ended by reiterating that he is in a relationship with someone he loves very much, and that he won't ever respond to communication from her again. But he did wish her well.

He worded it a lot more eloquently than I am able to. I was in tears at the bittersweet feeling. It reminds me of all the reasons I love him.

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9. Regrets…I’ve Had A Few

I never wanted kids, but was never adamantly against having one. I get married. My wife knows how I feel about kids. When we were engaged, my answer was "maybe one, definitely not more”. As my friends started having kids, I started leaning heavily against having kids. Some parents had good kids. Some parents had bad kids. Even the easy kids looked like too much work.

Queue my wife's sister dying. That was when everything changed. All of a sudden "family" is SUPER important to my wife. I get that. At this point my answer to kids was still no. My wife bothered me and bothered and bothered me. Eventually I was convinced. The deal was her parents would sell their ranch and come live on our street.

I was convinced. I was so dumb. I was told not to worry about all the realities of having a kid and losing my life, because grandma and grandpa are down the street and would be all the parents baby ever needed. Since we lost my wife’s sister, she became the only hope for grandkids. My wife and her parents worked me over so good. They convinced me. They made good points.

My wife's parents were in their 50s and good health—they would be here "beyond the baby phase" and "would have enough energy to keep up with a kid". Then they really laid it on thick. I'm shown enough Disney movies and Kodak moments and am promised that I just have to be a good dad and provider. A 1950s dad if you will , one where the mom unfairly does all the hard stuff. All the good and no bad? Cool. Fine by me.

Well here we are, 11 years later. My kid has "ODD," which is pretty much alphabet soup for your kid being a jerk and defiant. Nothing else is wrong with them. The diagnosis is literally that they are vindictive and cruel and seek conflict. Not because they can't communicate or are hypersensitive to stimuli…but just because.

Guess what? Grandma and grandpa say the kid is "too much". They haven't helped for more than a day a month in almost seven years. And here I am, on my laptop, tethered to my phone in a parking lot at the park after dark. I came home from work to my son spitting on the neighbor's door knob. The reason why was seriously disturbing. 

He said he wanted to "get the neighbors sick". Why does he want them sick? His Amazon package got delivered to their house in the morning and they waited until evening to give it to him. Then in return for my telling him not to do that, my son went into the attic and peed all over the one banker's box of memorabilia I have from my parents, who both passed before I was 20.

I left the house and am sitting in my car. I don't know if I'm coming back. And I don't want advice. This isn't "lack of discipline" or "bad parenting". I've read every book. I've worked shifts six days a week for a decade to pay for tens of thousands (probably closer to 100K) worth of therapy, behaviorists, counseling, classes. You name it.

At the end of the day, it is my fault. I am so spineless. I knew I didn't want kids. I was convinced, because, well, I'm a jellyfish. And here I am. 45 years old, crying in my car in the park.

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10. Slow And Steady Wins The Race

Seven years ago, when I was 24, I lost my wife in a horrible car accident, leaving me (in complete shock and grief) as a single father to our two kids. At the time they were 1 and 3 years old. I didn’t have any post high school education and was working as a construction worker.

Before my wife passed, we both worked full time and were able to rent a small but nice house. But as a single working parent, I could hardly make ends meet and had to move into a tiny apartment. That Christmas, when I didn’t have enough money left over to get my kids the gifts they deserved, I really knew I had to do something.

I started taking college classes at night while working two jobs, and after five long years, I graduated with a BS in mechanical engineering and got a job making six figures. I bought a nice house with a huge yard for my kids to play in, built them a treehouse, and have enough time off to spend plenty of time with them. Last week, I took them on a camping trip in the mountains. It’s not until now that I really let myself believe that I actually did it.

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11. Charlotte’s Web

He's been there since about the middle of October. When I first noticed him, the inclination was to squash, but the little guy could really run when he needed to, so I decided to form a truce. It was pretty obvious that he wasn't too interested in humans, so as long as he stayed where he was, I'd leave him. It was getting cold outside and I felt bad about sending him out to die. So that was that.

Hubby went after him a few more times but eventually gave up. He became a rent-paying household member, catching the gnats that flew down into his dark little corner. I began talking to him, saying hi, things like that. He never ran when it was just us. He trusted me. He would even wave back a time or two.

This morning I went to take a shower to get at the hard skin attacking my feet, and a bottle of body wash fell over the side of the tub into his web. I don't know what he was doing down there, he'd been spending a lot of time close to the ground lately. But I hate myself. I hate that I took a shower this morning, I hate that I didn't just stay in bed with my itchy feet. I hate that I got attached to a stupid spider and now I'm crying so hard I can't breathe.

I could be embarrassed but I'm gonna own it. That little spider taught me a powerful lesson about fear and friendship and I'll never forget it.

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12. Now That’s A Surprise Party

I was having lunch with my friends for my birthday. I went to the bathroom and when I came back, everyone had left. I was heartbroken—but I never could’ve predicted what happened next.  There was a small moment where I thought “That's okay, they're busy and I really appreciate that they came and had lunch”.

That was when I noticed the package with my name on it sitting on my chair. Inside was a ransom note, a blacklight, and some random puzzle pieces. What followed was a four-hour epic journey around the city, solving puzzles. This included a trip into a bar where the bartender said “I've been expecting you” and handed me another set of locked boxes and puzzles as he poured me a drink.

Eventually it finished at some accommodation they had booked for the weekend, along with the final address of a bar where everyone was waiting for me. They designed everything themselves. I was so utterly overwhelmed and humbled by the extraordinary effort they went to for me. These people are funny, smart, kind, and generous and I always feel lucky that I know them at all, let alone get to call them my friends. The world is a much better place for having them in it.

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13. Good Grief

My son is non-neurotypical. Lots of issues in school growing up and misunderstood by loads of people. Brilliant and kind yet different. His best friend is his cat and their relationship was beyond special. My son always said he wouldn't know what he would do if he lost his cat. He hoped it would be after he left home to go to college.

He wants to be an aerospace engineer and would say he would be “with his people” then so he would be able to better manage losing his cat. Today, he witnessed his cat die. It was difficult and it was rapid, and he held him as we raced to the vet who could not save him from a massive stroke.

I've been dreading this day. I can fight teachers, school districts, jerks and even his dad to protect him but I can't protect him from loss. I too prayed he would be older to have more skills and supports to cope with grief and loss—but his reaction absolutely blew me away. My son cried briefly and then turned to console me. He said he was at peace with his cat's loss because he was going to use his cat's memory "to propel me to be a more kind, and compassionate man", and said "we can only move forward, mom".

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14. When My Girlfriend Met My Wife

I’m 32 and I am a widow. My wife lost her battle with pancreatic cancer five years ago. She was forced to leave behind our two sons. My wife was the absolute light of my life. We were high school sweethearts, went to the same college, and got married after graduation. We were inseparable. Every day I fell more in love with her; it was like my heart was living outside my body.

When she passed, the amount of pain I was in was indescribable. I prayed to go to sleep and not wake up just so I could see her one last time. I contemplated meeting her, but every time I was ready, my kids would look at me. They had her face, her personality, her DNA, I couldn’t leave them. They were all I had left of her.

It took years before I was able to function normally again. I even quit my job and lived off of savings and her life insurance for about a year. I was half the dad I used to be and only a fraction of my former self. Two years after her passing, I decided enough was enough and I kicked myself into gear.

I found a job in a different city (closer to my parents), I packed my kids up, and I moved. Life was hard, but I kept chugging along and eventually I found some joy. A year after moving, I took a business trip to NY where I met my current girlfriend. While I acknowledged there was chemistry, I told her I was already married and she understood.

However, a few months later I had to go back to NY where we met up again. I let my guard down for the first time around her. Before I knew it, she was putting in a transfer for my home branch and moving to my city. I fell in love with her and asked her out a year ago next month. My kids adore her and though she reminded them she will never take their moms place, they lovingly call her “Momma L”.

Today was the anniversary of my wife’s passing, an extremely hard day for all of us. This morning I walked into the living room to find her and my kids waiting for me. The kids were dressed in their church clothes with goofy smiles on their faces and bouquets in hand.

Apparently, she came up with the idea of a picnic at my wife’s grave, an idea that the boys loved as they enjoy going to see their mom. While I was sleeping they prepared food and flowers, then insisted on wearing their best clothes. I’ll admit that I cried at the sight of them. I don’t know how I got this lucky twice in a row. I wanted my wife to meet this amazing woman, so I asked her to come along and she did.

The day that I dread every year turned out to be a humbling reminder of the reason why I stayed on this planet.

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15. Stayin’ Alive

This happened a few weeks ago and I’m not over it yet. So I was at home, it was midnight. Two bottles of sauvignon blanc down, and I was waiting on a friend to come pick me up. Out of nowhere some girl started screaming “Call 9-1-1 my friend overdosed” and so I grabbed my phone and stumbled to the hallway to see what was happening.

In another apartment, there was this boy. I knew the guy too. He was purple, not breathing on the floor and there were two girls crying and they didn’t know what to do. Again, I was quite buzzed. I calmly gave my phone to a girl and told her to call 9-1-1 and I got on my knees and started compressions and mouth to mouth.

For two minutes, I kept going, and I didn’t cry, I didn’t freak out. It was like even the drinks wore off for the time being. After two minutes of giving compressionshe started to wheeze. So I got a pillow under his head and talked to the EMT. They ended up telling me if I hadn’t been there he wouldn’t have made it.

As soon as I got into my friend’s car, I just broke down and started crying. I learned CPR in grade 10 and I never ever ever thought I’d have to do it. It still scares the heck out of me and honestly I don’t know how I did what I did.


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16. Break The Cycle

My daughter just spilled her whole cup of Jell-o on the carpet, and she just looked at me and said “mommy I spilled”. She was so calm and just asked for help. I walked over and helped her clean it up. And it made me realize something. 

Now this may sound silly but the fact that she was calm, not scared or trying to hide it, was incredible to me. She wasn't terrified or crying or anything. She didn’t think she’d be in trouble (which she of course is not). But it made me so proud of myself. I didn’t scream at her like my parents would have. I didn’t tell her she’s stupid or get angry at all. And the fact that she knows that, is so wonderful. She knows it’s okay to make mistakes and I’ll just help her.

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17. Anything For A Pizza Party

I started student teaching in a fourth grade special ed class in September. My teacher told her students that if all 12 of them get 100% on their spelling tests, we can have a pizza party. So far, that has not happened yet. This past Monday, my teacher told them “This is Ms K’s last week with us. Let’s all work really hard to finally get that pizza party”.

The kids were really excited. During their free time, they would all study their words. I never saw them work so hard. What makes this situation difficult is the issues between Gabby and Sam. Sam has severe dyslexia and struggles with spelling. Gabby constantly picks on Sam for it. My teacher and school take this seriously and intervene. However, Gabby still picks on Sam.

After my teacher said “Let’s all work really hard to finally get that pizza party,” Gabby shouted back “Can you make sure that Sam studies since she’s really bad at spelling”? We addressed this with Gabby. Even though she is only 9, she really tees me off with her passive-aggressive comments. Sam practiced really hard for the spelling test. I even stayed after school Thursday to help Sam study.

On Friday morning right before the test, she was crying because she didn’t want to be the only student to fail and ruin the pizza party. I told her that she worked so hard this past week and she is smart. For the spelling test, our teacher will say the spelling word out loud and the students will write it. 11 of the students have the same words.

Sam has a slightly different set of words which are a bit easier. My teacher whispers Sam’s words to her. When the teacher does this, Gabby will sometimes snicker. I can’t stand this. We addressed this before, but Gabby still doesn’t change her behavior. I finally lost it. This past Friday, Gabby snickered again. I went up to Gabby and angrily whispered “I will take your test and fail you right now if you don’t stop. And you will ruin the pizza party for everyone. Stop it”.

She started crying in her seat. I didn’t care. Maybe it will finally get through to Gabby. Once the kids are done, I walk around and collect all the tests. The kids go to lunch, and my teacher gives me the tests to grade. She leaves for lunch duty. I start grading each test and it's 100% after 100%. I am so proud of my students. I get to Gabby’s test and it's 100%.

I finish grading and every single test is 100%. I feel so proud and excited for them. But then I realize, I only collected 11 tests. Sam’s test is on my teacher’s desk. I go through her test and she is spelling all the words correctly. I never felt so proud. But then, it hits me. The very last word, which is always a “challenge word" is spelled wrong.

She wrote “because” as “becuase”. I am still proud of her because she got 9/10 correct. She never scored that high before. And sight words are very challenging. But all the students will figure out that Sam “ruined” the pizza party for them. Even if we don’t announce who failed, they will figure it out.

I could talk to my teacher about letting them have the pizza party anyway—but my teacher is a stickler for the rules. “Everyone needs to get a 100%”. I can’t let Sam feel like a failure or get bullied. So, I erased the “u” and the “a” and switched them. Sam probably won’t notice. And I won’t tell Sam or she will feel bad. She will eventually learn how to spell "because". I need her to have her moment.

The kids came back from recess and were told the good news. They were so excited. Sam was so proud of herself! I come back on Monday for the pizza party!

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18. Home Is Where The Heart Is

I grew up in a very terrible, unstable environment. My dream is to find that feeling of home and have a space that’s stable, safe and secure. I somehow had this conversation of home the first night I met my now fiancé, when we were randomly talking about our childhood. I told him the concept of “home” is so important to me, and I’m very particular about the environment I live in. I can only hope that one day I can achieve that.

My fiancé owns a construction company, and we’ve been browsing houses to purchase over the last year, but none ever felt quite right. We viewed a piece of land out in the deep country last spring that is absolutely divine, and we talked about how we wished we could purchase it and build a dream home on it. I had never thought we could actually do it.

Little did I know, not long after, my fiancé made the decision to purchase the land and start building. Our anniversary was this past weekend, and he told me he had a surprise for me. He blindfolded me, put me in the passenger seat and giggled like a five-year-old the whole way there. When I removed that blindfold and took in what I was looking at, I couldn’t even believe it.

After asking “Are you serious”? about 10 times, I started bawling. It has everything I’ve always talked about. A quaint, classic farmhouse design, a wrap-around porch, a mud room at the front with a double entry like I’ve always said I wanted (it makes me feel safe, I don’t know why) and while it’s not quite finished like it was supposed to be yet, because of everything going on in the world, it’s absolutely perfect.

I truly can’t believe I have this much good luck with this perfect man after spending a lifetime not knowing where home was, or how that felt. Now I know.

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19. Plot Twist

A few months ago, I met this woman at the gas station. She didn’t have any money on her and she was trying to get to a bus stop a few blocks away. I drove her and on the way we were chatting about everything. We really got along and after finding out she didn’t have anywhere to go I asked her if she’d like me to get her something to eat.

Really, I just wanted an excuse to keep talking to her because we had so many things in common and I enjoyed our conversation. Her story and how badly things have gone for her personal life. At one point I remember her asking if this is okay as she was about to kiss me. I told her it was more than fine and we kissed. One thing led to another.

We saw each other a few more times at coffee shops to talk over the next weeks until she told me she found a job an hour away and it was also close to a shelter until she could afford her own place to live. That’s a little bit of our background story so you see how it got to this. First time in months, she contacts me that she’s over four months pregnant with our baby.

It caught her by surprise and she says she was so stressed with work it didn’t really hit her until she remembered her afternoon with me. I’m a little overwhelmed but I have proof the baby is mine. She said she understands if I don’t want to be involved with the way it all happened. I don’t feel that way at all.

It’s scary but once I actually saw the ultrasound photo of our baby my heart fluttered. I’m a dad. No idea how we’re going to work this out but I plan to be there for my kid. Just wanted to say it all somewhere before the time comes to tell everyone else in my life.

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20. The Truth Comes Out

I found out that my fiancé is cheating on me with my best friend. I found out through a mutual friend that she (my best friend) told for some reason. I guess she thought that she wouldn’t tell me because they’re closer? Anyway, I didn’t believe it at first because you know that’s my best friend…but the mutual goes into detail about times my fiancé was “working late” or “visiting his sick mom”, but it was all fake. He was with her.

So I sit on the news all day. I come home and he’s acting normal, telling me he loves me, but I wait till we go to bed. When he’s asleep I check his phone. That’s what really pushed me over the edge.  There’s nothing on iMessage, nothing on Facebook, nothing on Snapchat, then I open Instagram.

There’s message after message—and photos. They’re talking about how they enjoyed each other bodies and talking about how stupid I was for not knowing. I go to the bathroom all the way on the other side of the apartment we share and have a mental breakdown.

I was hurt and still kinda am. I take screenshots of their messages and send them to myself. The next day rolls around and I didn’t sleep at all. My fiancé goes to work and I take the day off. My ex-best friend now texts me asking if we could hang. I make up an excuse. I take a long walk, contemplating what I should do next.

Those text messages keep popping into my head and then I just kinda snap out of it. I had terrible parents who would take away things I loved to teach me a lesson, so I kind of mastered the art of snapping out of love just like that. I go home and take long bath and by the end of it I was over him and her they deserve each other.

A week goes by and I’m at my cousin’s wedding and them interacting is hilarious. They’re just so awkward it’s entertaining. Now I just have to come up with a revenge plan.

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21. The Best Cure Is Prevention

My husband and I are 28. We have three kids. He’s the only boyfriend I’ve ever had. He’s been with me since high school, and he’s always had low self-esteem. I do too, but not like he does. One day, we got new phones, maybe seven years ago, and I found out I can read his texts. He can see mine too, but he didn’t know about it.

This happened for like another two years. For his birthday and Christmas I’d snoop around his texts and see if there’s something he was talking about that he wanted. One day, around November I was being nosey to see what I can get him for Christmas. I was pregnant with our second child at the time. I saw he was texting someone something suspicious. He was asking “Where can we meet” and I thought this was with another girl. I read them more and I found out he was buying substances.

My husband and I don’t even drink, so I freaked out. I wondered about how long this was going in for, if I even knew my own husband anymore. Turns out he was buying something that doesn’t get you high, but kills you. I looked around everywhere. I tore our room apart and didn’t find anything.

I went through the search history and all his emails on his phone when he was asleep that night. That’s when I discovered the devastating truth. I found out he was making arrangements for a specific date three months after I was due with our next child. He was looking at life insurance, which we have had since I’m a stay-at-home mom.

He was even looking up how much it costs to be cremated. Once he got home, the first thing I did was sneak his phone and text that guy and say “I’m no longer interested, if someone else tells you otherwise it means someone else has my phone” and deleted that guy's number.

I didn’t want him to know I was snooping, but the thought of my husband not being around tore me up. I remember being sick to my stomach and bawling in our room just thinking of the idea of not having him around. I love him more than life itself. I would die for him and not even have to think about it. My husband is my entire world.

From that day on I made sure he knew that, even if it meant embarrassing myself. I started bringing him flowers at work almost every day. When he would come through the door I would screech with excitement and give him a hug and a smooch and tell him I missed him so much and I couldn’t stop thinking about him all day.

When I was out with him I'd tell him how beautiful and handsome he is. When he was around my friends I’d say “Look at my husband. He’s so beautiful”. I’d call him at work and ask how much longer until he’s home. I got him to start going to therapy too. One night I woke him up because I was freaking out and couldn’t sleep.

I told him I had a nightmare. I said I had a dream he died. His response chilled me to the bone. He said “Why is that a bad thing”? SO I told him how he’s my entire world and other than our son, and our other on the way, he’s all I live for. He said “But things would be better if I was out of your hair”.

I said “No they wouldn’t. If you left me, it would literally ruin my life”. He said “Not if you’re financially well off. You’ll be much better off” and I said “I could have all the money in the world. It would mean nothing if I didn’t have you. I’d much rather be homeless but still have you as my husband than be filthy rich and you be gone”. And he said “Are you serious” and I said “100%. I’d sleep under a bridge if it meant I still got to sleep next to you”

He said “I didn’t know you felt that way” and I said “I really do”. I asked if I could go with him to therapy. He said yes. I told his therapist I think he has depression, and he admitted he might. He got a prescription, and it seemed to help him a whole lot. Even though it’s been five years I still do all those nice things for him, like call him handsome and bring him flowers. I don’t ever want him to second guess for a second that he’s my sunshine.

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22. It’s See You Later, Not Goodbye

My girlfriend and I gave up our child today. He was born happy and healthy. The most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen in my life. Happiest day of our life is sadly also the hardest one. We wanted him so bad. Right now where we are in our lives, though, barely surviving paycheck to paycheck, food stamps, and living in a bad neighborhood in one of the most expensive overpriced cities in the US, we know we can’t do it with a baby. I’m sad we can’t provide the life he deserves.

We know the family he’s going to is gonna love him so much. They have been waiting for years to have a child. They’re good people, we know they are. And we know he’s gonna have a good life with them. My girlfriend cried for an hour when it was time to say goodbye. She’s sleeping on me right now. My heart hurts. Hurts deeper than anything I’ve ever felt. I only got to hold him a few minutes but it already feels like I can’t breathe without him.

This is for the best though. We both know it is. Hope one day we can meet again, baby boy.

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23. It’s The Little Things

I got out of a really bad marriage where my then-husband snuck around on his phone constantly. After three years of that treatment I’m still working to trust others again. Yesterday my current boyfriend and I were at U-Haul and he needed to grab something but wanted to keep his phone unlocked because it had the sign-in pulled up.

He just handed it to me without thinking anything of it, but I’m over the moon that he trusts me and I can trust him to be open about everything on his phone.

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24. Well That’s A Kick In The Teeth

This happened to me when I was 12. I had just gotten my braces off and the dentist was getting rid of the glue on my teeth. After he was done he said “I shaved down your canines while I had the grinder out to make them look more feminine”. I asked what he meant and he lifted up a mirror.

I had fairly sharp canines growing up that I really liked, and he had shaved off a good amount and made them rounded instead of sharp. He said that boys would like me more and that he had made me more feminine and pretty. He didn’t ask me about it, he just did it. Forever altered my teeth without my consent because I was a female.

I went home and cried I didn’t know how to tell my parents so I didn’t until much later and it was way too long after to do anything about it. I was 12 so I don’t blame myself, but I do wish I had stood up for myself. I’m still pretty upset about this 10+ years later because it just shows how girls get treated sometimes and the lack of bodily autonomy I was given. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

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25. Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

I'm average-looking at best. Many even find me ugly. It is what it is. I can't say that I'm "over" the fact that people find me ugly because being physically unattractive has gotten me rude comments about my appearance for most of my life. And I know it's not just people being mean. When I'm out with my attractive friends, I notice how people treat them very differently (in a positive way).

It's a level of privilege that I'll never experience, which sucks, but it's certainly not my friends' faults. But there’s one thing that makes me really upset. That’s when people feel the need to comment on how "lucky" I am. My husband is often jokingly called the third Hemsworth brother. He's a good-looking dude. I don't disagree with that fact at all.

When people meet my husband for the first time I always get comments. "You're so lucky you managed to get a guy like him”. or "That's your husband”? or "Oh, you've been together since high school. Now it makes sense”. Like, what the heck? Some of these comments could definitely be innocent enough except for two things.

First, their stress on certain words that clearly imply that they think he's way out of my league. Secondly, it's never ever the other way around. People never make comments like that to my husband about how "lucky" he is for snagging me. The worst time was one day a few years ago. I was waiting tables to pay my way through college. I had been working at the restaurant for over a year at that point.

My husband came in by himself and sat in my section so we could sort of "hang out" (we both had really busy schedules back then, so we weren't able to spend much time together). Several of my female co-workers (and even some of my gay male co-workers) kept pointing out the "hot guy who looks like Liam Hemsworth" sitting at table such-and-such.

They kept telling each other about him and encouraging each other to walk by his table to "go check him out”. It was kind of funny at first, until I told one of them that he was my husband. "He's your husband”? the co-worker asked incredulously. Next thing I know, I'm overhearing my co-workers say stuff like, "Yeah, that's apparently her husband. Like, how the heck did she manage that”? and other similar things when I'm walking by them to get to the kitchen/my tables.

I felt like crying before the day was over. I wanted to get this off my chest because I just got another comment like this today. I don't know if it's because I'm feeling particularly insecure today since I'm about to start my period, but Jesus. I'm a worthwhile person, too, and there are things about me that make my husband lucky to have "caught" me, too (to which he wholeheartedly agrees, but I digress).

I'm just sick of it. And I'm sick of being made to feel like I have no value as a human being because I am not physically attractive.

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26. Better Off Alone

I was in a horrible relationship. I couldn’t even go anywhere by myself at night, to a gas station or anything. Everything in the apartment we shared was gray, gray, gray. I’ve never been able to express myself because we had to agree on everything and nothing could be “girly”.

I broke up with him in January, which took a lot of determination, and he threw everything I owned on the front lawn. At the lowest point in my life, sleeping on a friend’s couch, I decided to do something crazy. I got on Zillow and looked at places for sale in my hometown. I found a historic farmhouse that needs a lot of restoring for an insanely cheap price, with a lot land.

Now I’m home, I can breathe, and I can literally do anything to my house that I want to. I bought classy, yet fun tile for my bathroom that has flowers all over it. I painted my bedroom purple. I’m doing a decidedly 70s theme in my kitchen and I just put stick-on vinyl all over my fridge with huge sunflowers on it. Like, I’m going wild.

I can leave my house at any time and come and go as I please. I can go to Walmart at 2 am on a Saturday for Ben and Jerry’s if I have a random craving, and no one is going to scream at me and threaten me for it. It may sound stupid to some, but it just made me break down in happy tears after bouncing all around my living room to classic rock. I’m just loving life.

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27. Now That’s Payback

My boyfriend is one of those guys who always insists he pay for things, and although he lost his job, he's still trying to pay for things when he can. Today we went to pick up breakfast and he couldn't afford to pay it, so he took his food off the order and only got me my food.

He was really sad he couldn't pay for everything and said it makes him feel like less of a man. So when he went to shower, I slipped $50 into his wallet and folded it up super small so when he notices it, he'll just think he missed it. I want him to feel better next time he tries to pay for stuff.

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28. Secret Stash

My husband and I keep no secrets from each other (except for keeping the bathroom door closed). So one day I went looking for one of our old credit cards. He has a few little hidey holes for important stuff, he’s like WALL-E, so I went to his bedside table, bottom drawer, where he occasionally keeps old financial stuff. And there it was, just staring at me. I had no idea.

Every card I’ve ever given him, every cutesy love letter, every sappy post-it. Stacked neatly in the back corner. Some in envelopes, some out. Over six inches high. Every card I fretted over, every page of handwritten 3 am hopes and dreams. I’m a writer, so words are important to me and they are the way I express myself when it’s difficult to do so out loud. He knows this.

Seeing that stack of cards, even though it may seem small to some in the grand scheme of things, just really made me happy today. I told him I loved him for the first time in a rambling Valentine’s day card, 7 1/2 years ago. We make a special point on every birthday, anniversary, whatever, to get the other person a nice card, write a little something.

Maybe one day he’ll be looking for something and find my stash, tucked away in my bookshelf: a stack with every card he’s ever given me.

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29. The Stuff Of A Hallmark Movie

My daughter is six and she met her new BFF at the start of the school year. Her mom is a very nice lady. They don’t live far either so we have invited them over a lot. It’s became a regular thing for the past two months to have them over every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday.

Either we take the girls out somewhere fun or we stay in watching movies, do other activities. I spend lots of time alone with the mother. We can talk for hours about anything and next thing we know time has flown by. Then the butterflies in my stomach and the blushing every time she smiled started hitting me.

I’ve been a full time single dad for three years, since my ex decided to walk out on our daughter. So dating has never been on my mind. They spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with us, which led to them staying all weekend. The girls fell asleep on the couch watching Encanto and it was me and her up for another hour chatting.

Had a couple of drinks in me so of course I blurt out that she looks beautiful right now. Randomly, out of nowhere. In the end we kissed though, so looks like it worked out for me. My heart was racing so fast, I’m pretty sure my whole face was red as heck because it felt so warm suddenly. We were both smiling like total idiots.

Before they left earlier she kissed my cheek and man I just wanted to pull her in. It’s my first kiss in years, with someone I feel really connected to. It’s just been a really great weekend. Very, very happy.

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30. Getting Even

My grandad was the best. I had an imaginary friend; it was The Hulk. He was green, the same size as me, and I would protect him. If Hulk was sitting in grandad's chair, and grandad was about to sit down, I'd shout, "No! Hulk's sitting there”. Grandad would sit somewhere else, nodding understandingly.

Years later, before he passed, he suffered from Alzheimer's. When it was at the stage where he confused who people were, didn't know where he was sometimes, and had some hallucinations (but before he was in hospital near the end), he came to visit. Sometimes he got really, really scared, and wouldn't tell anyone what was the matter.

He would get so agitated. I begged, what's wrong, please tell me. He told me the goblins were running all around the floor and they were going to get him. I knew just what to do. I kicked and punched, asking "Did I get him”? "Yes, but there's more over there”! And I'd kick and swing and curse them until he said I got them all. And he was relieved and calm.

He accepted my imagined best friend and respected him, so I accepted his goblin imagined enemies, and fought them off. I think we're even. I miss him.

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31. Am I Hearing Things?

My husband and I work at the same place, but in different departments, so our paths don’t cross too often. He has this really weird nickname for me and for months now, I’ve been hearing it at work. It’s always kind of quick and whispered, and it’s so short that I second guess hearing it every time. But I’ll still whip around and look, and I never see anyone and no one else ever hears it.

I never brought it up to my husband because I’ve been convinced that maybe I just miss him (or I’m actually losing my marbles), but either way, I’m not really hearing it. But tonight my husband and I were a couple drinks in and chatting and I went to walk in the other room and I heard it.

I whipped around and marched back in the room and he’s there on the couch, cracking up. I was like has it really been you this whole time? He couldn’t even tell me because he was laughing so hard. He had to nod his head. Turns out for months now, when our paths do cross, he’s been intentionally hiding from me just so he can whisper-scream my nickname and watch me panic. And I got to give it to him—the man had me questioning my sanity.

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32. Too Late To Turn Back Now

There’s something that no one in my life knows. I regret becoming a mom. I miss being my own person. I miss sleeping in. I miss being impulsive. I miss focusing on my career. I miss traveling. My daughter is nearly two years old. She's a great kid. Ahead on all her milestones. Good temperament (for a toddler). And she's adorable.

I feel like I'm a pretty good parent. I spend tons of time with her, she eats well, she is constantly being challenged through new games and toys, and I try to never show any negative emotions around her (aside from scolding). But if I had a do-over I would definitely change my mind about wanting to have kids. The responsibility is too much, I'm too selfish, and I am not naturally a nurturing type of person.

It feels good to write this out since it's too taboo to discuss with people without them potentially becoming concerned for my daughter’s well-being.

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33. Ghosted

I’ve been dating this guy for a few months. We met on Bumble and he was really nice and cute. He is usually busy studying as he’s an engineering student (I am too but he’s a grad). A few months ago, he asked to be my boyfriend because he didn’t want me meeting up with anyone else on Bumble. I hadn’t been messaging anyone on Bumble anyway because we were talking, but I agreed and deleted the app and we became exclusive.

Lately he hasn’t been able to spend time together a lot. Sometimes we go two weeks without seeing each other. He’ll still text cute things about how I’m his girl and how he misses me but that’s about it. I try to give him space because I know studying is hard. Well, recently my friend told me that even if you delete Bumble, your account stays up if you don’t delete your account.

I was creeped out by this so I downloaded the app to officially delete my account. What I saw next made my blood run cold. The very first person I saw when I re-downloaded the account is my boyfriend! And not only that, when I scroll to the bottom of his profile, two of the pictures were taken while we were dating, one from only a week ago that I took myself.

So that makes he’s actively going on it. Well instead of texting him to break up, I decided to be an immature brat. I asked my friend for her account and swiped until I found his account. She looks similar to me and I know she’d be his type. They’ve never met. Then I messaged him and let him chat her profile up until he asked for a date on Saturday.

Guess what I’m doing ? You can judge me all you want but come this Saturday he’s going to be sitting at the bar all alone and then when he inevitably texts me to come comfort him, I’m going to tell him I know he’s cheating and to never talk to me again. Thanks for indulging me in my petty revenge story.

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34. The Good Lie

My wife is a third shift nurse at a major hospital in our metro area. She's been working a grueling schedule of back-to-back days for weeks since returning from maternity leave. Some days she doesn't even get to see me or our three-month-old son. I'm a teacher, so I'm home during the summer and I'm the primary caregiver when I don't have football practice.

The other night she ruined our son's sleep schedule by accident. She had a mental breakdown, tossed her glasses, and broke down crying because she feels she doesn't know her own son's life and is a terrible mom. Might I add, she's a tremendous mother and wife and she makes such a wonderful impact on many people’s lives.

Anyways. She came home this morning to start a streak of three days off. We were lying on the ground playing with our son and she tickled his tummy. He let out a big giggle and she lost it. Starting crying happy tears; I joined alongside her and we celebrated our son's first giggle together.

Now she's asleep, happy and content. But there’s something that she doesn’t know. That wasn't his first giggle. He's giggled with me with a few times this week. That's a secret that will go with me until the end of time. This morning will always be his first laugh, always. She deserved that moment of pure bliss and happiness.

So yeah, I lied to my wife today and I'm cool with it. That is all.

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35. Respect The RSVP

So, yesterday my son turned 10. Awesome, he loves the Avengers, so his dad and I decide to throw him a party at the house. We invited family and friends, and most of them RSVPed. Great, we make enough food to feed 40+ people. The place looks awesome, Avengers decorations everywhere, balloons, cupcakes, the whole nine yards.

Only to have my and my husband's immediate family be the only ones present. I'm talking six people max. Not another single kid at the birthday party. It broke my heart. My son kept looking out the window and door for guests, asking when his friends will get here, but nobody ever came.

I have a bag full of goodie bags, a piñata still intact, and unopened games. People suck! It sucks we have a small family and made my son feel like a loner on his freaking birthday!! He's a great kid and has been looking forward to his birthday all year. But come on, how are you going to RSVP and not come to a freaking kid's birthday party?

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36. Honeymoon Period: Over

We got married 19 September 2019. We have been together for three years and are madly in love. She is the best thing that happened in my life. We had a wonderful day and we were happy and in love. Almost everything went as planned. Then came the disaster. For the honeymoon, we went to the Caribbean and did a cruise and stayed on Curaçao for a week.

We visited so many places and did amazing things, but during the honeymoon, my wife kept getting bruises that could not be explained. Also a lot of headaches. We thought it was strange but nothing to worry about. Then in the last days of the honeymoon, my wife had a blood spot in her eye and got a nosebleed that went on too long.

A doctor came and examined her He could not find anything strange and told us to visit the doctor when we got back. So two days later, we are back and visited the doctor. High blood pressure and he ordered blood tests. We went in the morning to get the blood tests done and got a call from the hospital in the afternoon.

We had to go to the hospital immediately. After two hours of more tests we got the worst news. My wife has acute leukemia. To be precise, acute promyelocytic leukemia. A form of leukemia that causes bleeding and clots at the same time. It turns out, this kind of leukemia is more deadly at the start and we were very lucky. There is a silver lining.

It is treatable and has a high survival rate. My wife will be treated with vitamin A and Arsenicum. No chemo is needed. But despite the high survival rate and no chemo, there are still risks. So we have to discuss many things newlyweds should not have to discuss.

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37. From Family To Strangers

My dad has had an opioid addiction for the past 5-6 years that has gotten worse and worse. He used to be a successful real estate broker and now is homeless and begging for money on the streets. He's very paranoid and believes that his family is out to get him. I stopped talking to him over a year ago when he crossed one too many boundaries. But...now he begs for money at the burger place across the street from my new apartment.

The first time I saw him there, I couldn't believe it was him. I know I can't stop and talk to him again, or let him see me, because I don't want to get sucked into his problems again, and I can't do anything to help him. I wish I could tell him that I'm happy. I wish I could tell him that I graduated school in May and found a job.

I wish I could tell him that I got married and I wish he could meet my wife. I wish I could go see him and tell him to come stay at my place, in the warm bed in our second bedroom, instead of letting him freeze in the cold. I wish I could have a relationship with my dad again, listen to the music we used to like, hear him play guitar again, but I can't.

He's not in there anymore. And I feel so guilty every time I drive past him and think about how my life is going so good and his is so bad. I miss you dad.

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38. Exit Plan

I'm moving to a new state in two weeks and haven't told my boyfriend. We live together. I'm so sick of him not putting any effort into maintaining the house or this relationship. I'm over the apathy, the expectation that I should be the only one cooking and cleaning, the long boring weekends where all he wants to do is sit on his behind and watch TV. All we do anymore is sit around or argue.

I took a job that's nearly double my salary. I'm telling him I'm leaving after I get home from my family's place for Christmas. I'm relieved this chapter of my life is over, and I'm so excited for my new life in a vibrant city!

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39. It's Not About The Pasta

My (now) ex-husband and I were high school sweethearts. We married straight out of college and thought we would last forever. His mother never liked me and wanted him to settle down and marry a “nice Italian girl. Like their neighbor” (They’re Italian-American), but because he instead married me, (a Black, very not Italian woman) she despised me.

Despite that, I was always extremely cordial and polite to her. I learned family recipes and embraced Italian culture as much as she let me. I thought our relationship was improving before she passed. She still didn’t approve of me, but at least she didn’t openly scowl whenever she saw me.

When she passed, it was rough on my ex-husband and I was there for him every step of the way. When we were cleaning out her old house, he found some leftovers and took them home. He froze it and saved eating it for when he was finally ready to “let go”. But despite my best efforts, my ex-husband turned on me. Constantly picking fights, calling me demeaning names, telling me I need to lose weight (despite knowing I have body dysmorphia).

It was rough for me but I gave him pass after pass due to losing his mother. That was until about 18 months later, when I had a miscarriage. I called and texted him, telling him I had a miscarriage...and he completely ignored me. I was in the hospital alone and sobbing without my husband’s support. When I got home and he finally heard the news, he said, “oh” and went to take a shower. That broke me.

After my miscarriage I was a mess and my husband was nowhere to be found. He was always out “working late” specifically on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I suspected infidelity but figured it was my overactive imagination. That was until my best friend texted me the truth. She told me she saw my husband with another woman at a restaurant she worked at.

I couldn’t believe it and needed to see it for myself, so the next time a Tuesday rolled around I staked out the restaurant. Lo and behold there he was, with another woman. I got out of the car and started screaming at both of them (not my finest moment I know). As I got closer, I made an even more shocking realization. It was the woman who my former mother-in-law always wanted my husband to marry.

Something inside me snapped. I went home and threw the leftovers he'd been keepng onto the driveway. He came inside screaming at me and demanding to know what was wrong with me. I simply responded, “I want a divorce”. And we never spoke again. I know objectively what I did was wrong, but I’m not sorry. I would do things differently but I can’t feel any remorse for what I did.

I can’t help but get some sick satisfaction from what I did to him. Hopefully I hurt him as much as he hurt me. I’ve been in therapy and decided to finally put my story out into the public. Even if no one knows who I am, it’ll finally be there for anyone to read.

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40. Now There’s A Redemption Story

Two years ago, I returned home from my father's funeral. As soon as I opened the door to my apartment, I was greeted by a horrifying sight. There was a guy holding a crowbar who came out from my kitchen holding my TV. I live in the city, so robberies are common.

The guy began shouting at me and he clumsily dropped my TV and began holding the crowbar like it was a baseball bat. I was so stunned at what was happening that I didn't move. The guy screamed at me to empty my pockets. From the stress of the last few days with my father passing, I simply started crying.

Not out of fear at what was happening, but because this was literally the worst time of my life. The worst moment. The worst minute and second. While crying, I gave the guy my wallet. I just sat on my floor and hugged my knees and told him, through my tears, to "take whatever you want”.

He hesitated, looked down at me. He dropped my wallet and sat down beside me. Immediately, he began to comfort me. He began to apologize. He put my TV back on the table and told me it wasn't damaged. He told me that he lost his job and that his mom needed medicine that he couldn't afford and that they were homeless.

He told me all of this while I just wailed. I cried for my father, who was lost, I cried for my future, for it was uncertain, and I cried because my home had been intruded on in the most terrifying way. For a good 10 minutes I sat in the floor with a guy who had every intent to rob me, telling me that it would be okay and that he was sorry.

He begged me not to call the authorities. I just started screaming at him to get out. He ran away so fast that he left the crowbar. I threw it after him as he ran down the street—but my nightmare wasn’t over yet. Two days later, I came home from work and he was sitting in front of my door.

I was so terrified that I pulled out my phone, but he had this look on his face of—I'm not sure how to describe it—remorse, regret? He told me that he told his mom what he did, and his mom made me some soup. He handed me this tiny bowl wrapped in tin foil. Again, I was stunned and overwhelmed and angry that I slapped the bowl out of his hands and it shattered on the floor.

I told him to leave or I was calling the authorities. He left. I remember he looked upset. I left the soup and shattered bowl outside my door, almost as a warning for him to not come back. About three months after that, I got a note in my mail slot from the guy. He told me his mother had passed and that he was no longer homeless and that he had a job.

He wanted to repay me for breaking into my apartment. He wrote down his address and told me that I was welcome to break into his place if I wanted, but he didn't have much stuff. This all overwhelmed me. I threw away the letter, but I remembered his address. I remember walking by there one day, out of curiosity.

It was a ratty apartment building across the city. He was walking up to his room and he saw me. He waved. I turned away and left. He ran after me, apologized again. Told me that he never meant to do what he did. He showed me the program from his mother's funeral that he kept in his wallet. He wasn't lying, she was real. He was real. He was a real person.

I don't know what it was, but I believed him. We slowly began to grow together as people? I can't describe it. After a year of maintaining communication and learning about who he was, he enrolled in a local community college and began taking courses to earn credits before applying to university. I helped him study for his history class a lot. He's great at math and science, though.

I never invited him over to my apartment, however. No matter how much I got to know him, I was still afraid of him. And he knew that. He knew that I couldn't trust him. But tonight, we went out for coffee because he said he had an exam in his world civ class. When I got there, he said he forgot his book. We just talked for a bit, we laughed, and then he told me he wanted to cook for me.

On a whim, I decided to invite him to my apartment. After picking up some things from the grocery store, he came over. I was so nervous that I was shaking. He noticed, he squeezed my hand, and then he made dinner. It was amazing. We talked, we laughed, we sat in the floor and watched a movie on the TV he tried to take. We made jokes about it.

And then he told me that he missed his mom. I gave him a hug. Then he left. I don't know what I feel, but I do know that I can't give up on people anymore. Some people just have the short end of the stick. Maybe things have a way of working themselves out? And I miss my dad, too.

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41. Double Cross

I met my husband when I was 24 and we got married when I was 27. I cannot have children myself due to infertility caused by cancer in my early twenties. My husband seemingly never wanted any kids whenever we would speak about options such as adoption. Our life has been going really well, with him recently getting promoted at his job and us working on renovating our house into our dream one.

I work within healthcare and therefore work every other weekend. My husband works a regular Monday to Friday job. Some weekends I work 12 or more hours a day and am not always home much. Today I overheard my husband talking over the phone and heard him mention a female name along with the name of a local kindergarten.

I had been out working in the garden and he hadn't heard me walking inside so he didn't know I had overheard his conversation. I thought the whole thing sounded odd, especially the mentioning of the kindergarten. I decided to look up the name he mentioned and found an Instagram profile with selfies of a woman, with the typical vacation pictures.

I decided to scroll through the pictures out of curiosity. I lived to deeply regret it. Then I suddenly saw a picture of my husband holding a girl in his arms with the caption "Lizzie (fake name) celebrating her fourth birthday with her proud father". I found more pictures and saw they were all dated on the weekends I was working.

It's been a few hours and I haven't spoken to him about it. I don't think he knows I heard his phone call earlier as he hasn't said anything. I don't know what to do or how to react. My husband has lived a double life for who knows how long. And he has a child, and here I was believing he didn't want children.

He always seemed to not want any children, and I've started to fear this was just something he said not to make me feel sad over my infertility. I feel heartbroken thinking this secret relationship is due to him not finding life with just me and him enough for him. I couldn't give him what he secretly wanted.

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42. Food Is The Great Uniter

I’ve always had a horrible relationship with food. My grandmother had a fixation with keeping me as skinny as possible, which resulted in her either not feeding me enough or taking food away. My mother had zero interest in cooking or really being a parent so she fed me the bare minimum.

All this resulted in me being underweight most of my life and not understanding how to feed myself once I was able to do so myself. So I would either barely eat for days or overeat and make myself sick. I now have a toddler who loves to eat everything and anything, but will not eat unless I’m eating with her.

She’s gotten me into the habit of eating balanced meals three times a day and little snack in between. For the first time in my life, I’m not afraid of food and I don’t feel like my body is falling apart. I don’t know if I’ll ever tell her exactly how much she helped me once she’s older, but I know I’ll never be able to thank her enough for this.

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43. Baby Blues

I married my now ex when we were early 20s. We talked about having 1 or 2 kids but wanted to wait until we were in our early 30s. When we were around 32 we decided I would go off birth control. About a year and a half goes by and I don’t get pregnant. We decide he should get his sperm checked and then I would get tests done.

He told me he went and had his sperm checked at a urologist and everything was fine. I then went and had testing done, including an invasive ultrasound. Everything came back perfect for me. My gyno suggested we see a fertility specialist but my ex was against it . He said it just “felt weird” and would be expensive and we should just keep trying naturally.

Of course, I thought there was something wrong with me and blamed myself for our fertility problems. I was so, so wrong. I never got pregnant and we ended up getting divorced years later due to his infidelity. After we divorced, he called me out of the blue to confess that he had gotten a vasectomy in his late 20s behind my back.

He had decided he didn’t want kids and was afraid I would leave him if I knew the truth. He felt guilty and decided to confess. Of course by this time, I was already 40 and now single. It absolutely kills me inside that I gave my entire youth on a man that mistreated me, lied to me, took my chance of having kids away, then cheated on me and threw me away like trash for a girl 17 years younger than us.

I can’t stand to see babies, but I smile and pretend I am happy for the parents. Every baby shower invitation, pregnancy/birth announcement, social media post about kids is devastating.

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44. Leaving It All Behind

I grew up in Nebraska, living with my dad because my mom took off when I was 2 and we never saw her again. My dad was extremely horrible to me and would spend all his money on substances, which meant unless I could stay with a friend I most likely didn't eat that day. My dad didn't keep tabs on me, so as soon as I was old enough to work I was supplying my own food secretly, because if he knew I had money he'd take it.

I bought an old car off a friend, fixed it up, saved up a couple grand, and took off when I was 17. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't even really plan it. I just packed up my stuff one night and left. I worked odd jobs over the next few years, working long enough to make a paycheck and taking off again.

My goal was California, and by the time I was 19 I had made it there. I changed my name, started going to college, and after a few months got a decent job. I have a pretty nice apartment, friends who like me, and even a girlfriend I've been seeing for a few months now. None of them know who I used to be.

I tell everyone my parents are gone, and answer personal questions about my past and the scars my dad left on my body with vague responses. To my knowledge, nobody suspects a thing. Every single thing I am I have made myself, and that's how I want people to know me. The stuff I went through with my father growing up deeply affected me, and still does. But I am done being scared of him and I am done letting him control me.

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45. The Sins Of The Father

I was looking at my camera roll today, and went into the recently deleted picture section. Since my dad shares an Apple account, I can actually see what he’s deleted. I found something I didn’t want to see. There, I laid my eyes on him next to and giving a quick kiss to another girl at a bar or something about 20 days ago. Someone who isn’t my mom. She looked way younger.

I’m not totally shocked. My dad is super big time at his job, always goes to Vegas, etc. In fact I’ve seen a website for girls for hire on his phone before and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it is, some kind of payment thing. Still, he is basically like an older brother to me and he is a very loving father, which certainly makes this hurt.

I’ve decided I’m not going to do anything about it. Of course, the most important person here is obviously my mother. Many articles on this topic say that one owes it to their mother to say something like this. But I just can’t risk the emotional devastation it COULD cause. We all have really good relationships and live very happily. My dad helps out my mom’s elderly parents in so many ways and we are one of the closest families I know.

They also both love each other very much. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if my mom knew about this stuff as well, since it might just be like a working girl or something, but I don’t want to risk telling her. I also have a younger sister who I have a great relationship with and between dealing with the stresses of high school and deciding her future, I can’t let this get back to her.

I have an older sister who would probably be able to handle this info, but I don’t want to start things. I know my mom is really the only thing that matters here, but it’s hard not to look at the big picture. It’s easy to tell someone that telling the truth to my mother is the right thing, but I am just definitely not going to do that.

It’s like when I saw that site on my dad’s phone YEARS ago. I shrugged it off and pretended it never happened. Still, it’s tough to just wake up tomorrow like nothing happened. Even more awkwardly, I’m about to spend three days alone with my dad on a trip.

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46. Fungi-Curious

My dad has never done a drug in his life. In fact, we grew up in a pretty religious household. No drinking, and certainly nothing else. Ever. A few months ago I watched Fantastic Fungi on Netflix. It’s really good. Pretty amazing little organisms and as my dad is a scholar, I suggested he watch it. Afterward, my dad said that he would really like to try mushrooms.

His birthday is tomorrow so my husband and I planned for my husband to take my mom out for a date day (she would worry too much). In fact, my siblings are also pretty strict so wouldn’t understand and we couldn’t bring them in on it. I can’t tell anyone for obvious reasons. My dad is currently downstairs, curled up in blankets in his favourite recliner, candle burning, listening to his second hour of Enya.

He has the dog in his lap, an eye mask on and the biggest grin I’ve EVER seen. I’m checking in on him constantly. Happy birthday dad!

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47. Letting Go

I met my boyfriend's ex, and now I want them back together. I have been with him, let's call him Danny, for nearly a year now. We never, or nearly never, touch the topic about his ex-wife, Mer. The only thing I know about them is that they have a five-year-old son, whom he visits or brings to his home every weekend.

His son graduated daycare recently and Mer invited him for a dinner at the request of their child. Danny asked me to come. Although I hesitated at first, he insisted on bringing me. Saturday came and we went to Mer's house for dinner. I expected her to be rude to me but she welcomed us warmly.

She's casual and very polite and even introduced me to their child. Her house is very welcoming, clean, and smells fragrant. It's home. I asked her if I could do something to help her prepare the dinner while their child and Danny are playing. She told me she can manage and told me to go ahead and bond with the boys.

We had dinner and she and Danny were very casual. Not too friendly, but not too salty. They're not distant either. Mer asked questions about me and tried to make me comfortable. I know she's a good mother as their son is very polite, giggly, and behaved. I also noticed how Danny looked at Mer. There's sadness and love. I know he never look at me that way.

When we were about to go home, Mer packed me some food when I mentioned I live alone and always eat takeaways This really touched my heart. I've been keeping it inside me, but I could no longer keep it and asked Danny how things ended when he had such a beautiful wife and a playful and well-mannered son.

Danny pulled over. I thought he'd want me out of the car, but he started to tell me the awful truth. He cheated on her while she was out of the country burying her mother. The girl he slept with happened to be a mutual friend. She secretly filmed them and sent it to Mer. When Mer went home, she calmly told Danny she knew it and slept in the kid's room.

He didn't hear a word from her, no anger or anything hurtful. She just flatly said, "Serve the divorce papers and I'll sign it. Just make sure I have sole custody and you have visitation days”. Danny told me how he tried to stop her, but she didn't say a single word and completely shut him out.

A night before he left the house, he heard Mer crying and wanted to comfort her, but was afraid he'd make things worse for her. Danny hated himself for not taking the chance to comfort her while she grieved for her mom, and instead cheated on her. He said Mer is too good to be true, but that’s who she really is. Always available for her family and friends and even to his family and friends.

She'd cook for his friends while they watch football and have drinks together. Visits his mom and dad, and bakes cookies for them. Babysits his nephews and she never once complains about taking care of their son. She never nags at Danny and is ery patient about everything.

This is the first time I saw him cry. He's a big man and he's sobbing uncontrollably. He's apologizing to me and told me he likes me and didn't use me to move on. This whole revelation didn't make me think that I am being used. I felt his pain and I felt his love for his family. I asked him why he cheated and he said he’d been drinking and didn't even know it happened.

After that night, he's still the same, but I am not. I feel like I am in the way. Mer is still single. She mentioned that she wanted to focus on raising their son and pursuing her law studies. I love Danny, but I cannot compete with Mer.

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48. Secrets Hurt

I am the secret affair child, and I hate it. My birth parents decided to be selfish and cheat on their significant others, and now I’m the one who has to pay for it. I found out that I was the product of their affair when I was 18 and they both begged me not to tell my “real dad” so he wouldn’t use that to take custody from my mom.

I just have to watch my birth dad be publicly proud and love “his kids” while I have no relationship with my terrible “real dad”. I’m 30 now it shouldn’t bother me anymore, but every now and then it comes back and it stings.

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49. Behind Closed Doors

I'm an almost 30-year-old woman. I have a regular 9-5 job, I dress normally when I go to work and go out, I have close friends and family, and a fluffy cat. I enjoy road trips, reading, drawing, going to the movies, and cooking. Nothing out of the ordinary. I live by myself, pay all of my own bills, go to the gym, and generally do what modern humans do.

But once I step into my home, my mindset completely changes. And you'd never know just by looking at me. I live in a beautiful large apartment on the second floor. The building only has two units, so there's only one person living below me. It looks like something out of some medieval fantasy world: 13 foot high cathedral ceilings with wooden beams running across, a huge stone fireplace, wood panelled walls, massive medieval looking furniture, you get the gist.

I've decorated it like something out of Skyrim (horns, candles, maps, battle flags, fur rugs and throws, skulls, etc). I live north near the mountains where it snows quite a bit. When I'm home I listen solely to fantasy music, read fantasy books, and cook rustic style homemade meals (breads, stews, meats, etc).

I wear fur-lined clothing (fake fur, don't worry), I put on "warrior style" makeup for the day, play Skyrim, and binge LotR, The Witcher, GoT. Sometimes I wear long, hooded robes. I'm looking into taking actual archery lessons. I'm teaching myself Dovahzul and Tolkien elvish.

I write and draw in leather-bound journals with a feather quill and ink, I eat out of wooden bowls, light candles instead of turning on the lights, and generally live as if I'm part of some ancient Nordic world. I love sitting silently by the fire wrapped in a fur blanket and watching the snow fall, my mind off on some adventure in a faraway made up land, fighting dragons, leading armies against orcs, and marrying kings.

I know what you're thinking: this girl is weird. Grow up. And you're right. I get it. I guess it's my way of dealing with the stress of everyday life and work. It's an escape to another world the second my front door closes. It's a double life that no one else knows about. Sure, I've had friends and family over but I keep the whole "off to battle" face paint for when they leave and the fur cape hidden deep in my closet.

I would definitely be embarrassed if people I knew found out. It's odd and I'm terrified of being judged for it, and yet here I am getting it off my chest.

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