February 27, 2023 | Melissa Budish

People Explain The One Experience They Never Want To Go Through Again

Our life experiences stay with us long after they're over. Some memories are fun and delightful, while others are not so pleasant. It's the latter that can be rather dangerous — the negative moments of our lives can stick with us and leave permanent scars that never heal.

They say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," and that's definitely true. But some experiences are just so painful to go through once, no one should ever have to experience them twice. Just take it from these people, who recently shared the one experience they never want to endure again.



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#45 Anonymous Harassment

My family and I endured twelve years of anonymous online harassment. Fake LinkedIn accounts, fake Facebook accounts, fake emails, etc. It was a nightmare. The guy who did it was caught after a  13-month investigation launched by the police. Apparently, he had been doing this to 46 other people in three countries. He got six years in jail.


#44 Breathing Problems

I went through bilateral trimming of my turbinates to help me breathe through my nose when I was a kid.

They didn't cauterize it properly and it felt awful. When I finally felt ill enough to throw up, all that came out was coagulated blood clots and stomach juice.

I was rushed in for another operation and woke up with six-foot lengths of bandages rammed up each of my nostrils. It was a lot of fun having to change them...


#43 Bert And Ernie Explosion

I would never want to experience another 5.5-magnitude earthquake like the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. I was watching Bert and Ernie at the time and the TV exploded in my face because a bookshelf fell on it.


#42 Unbearable Unemployment

I've had two stints of unemployment in my career. One lasted for 11 months and the other for nine. It was utterly destructive to my self-worth. Every day, I would wake up with the crushing realization that I was a failure. It felt like my life was a prison that I couldn't escape from.

I've been holding onto the job that I landed after my second bout of unemployment for dear life. My other colleagues, on the other hand, have moved up in their careers and are on to new things.


#41 Chased By An Elephant

I was on a safari in Kenya a few years back and we drove right into a huge herd of elephants trying to cross the road. There was a bull standing guard making sure each one had passed safely. It was only once the calf started crossing that the bull saw us as a threat.

The bull opened his ears, lifted his trunk, made the loudest angry toot I’ve ever heard in my life. It then charged at us while the driver reversed the van. My heart was in my throat.


#40 A Harrowing House Fire

Living through a house fire was a pretty grim (and scary) experience.

Some time ago, my family had bought an old house from the 1920s that had a screw-in fuse box in the upstairs hallway (in addition to the breaker box in the basement).

Unbeknownst to us, someone had inserted a copper penny in the box instead of a fuse. This caused a fire to break out from the overheated wires in the wall and there was no fuse in the circuit to stop it.


#39 Growing Pains

Honestly... Just growing up.

Not that I have everything figured out, but man did it suck learning stuff the hard way.


#38 Emergency Eviction

Getting evicted.

It turns out the landlord hadn't been paying the mortgage. We only found out when the court bailiffs showed up to throw us out.

We did manage to "stall" the process long enough to get an emergency move done. But having to move to whatever place was available in November was pretty miserable.


#37 The Flying Roach

I went to go kill a roach and it started to fly. I didn't know they could fly at the time so I freaked out.


#36 Losing Touch

The feeling of losing a close friend. You know, the kind of friend that comes around once in a lifetime and clicks with you like no one else. As time goes on, life just gets in the way and you start to drift. You lie to yourself and say, "It's okay, we'll meet up when we are both free." But it never happens.


#35 Death Of A Parent

The death of a parent. It's one of those watershed moments in your life where you're forever changed. At least, that's how it was when my dad died. You spend your entire life seeing these people and suddenly they're not there anymore.

The worst part is, I know I'm going to have to go through it again.


#34 Putting Dog To Sleep

Having to put my dog to sleep. I’m a firefighter and have seen some hard things, but this was the worst by far. Seeing her look up at me when I put her on the table while holding her paw was heartbreaking. It's been a year and I'm still in tears.


#33 Bloody In Bathtub

Getting so tipsy that you wake up in a bathtub with bloody feet and bruises on your legs, not knowing what the heck happened the night before. Also, losing your wallet and phone in the process. This happened to a friend of mine one night after he disappeared from our party. To this day, we still don't know what happened.


#32 A Waking Nightmare

Sleep paralysis. It only happened to me once when I slept on my back (I'm usually a front or side sleeper).


#31 Painful Toe Nail Removal

I had to have a whole toenail removed. In order to do that, the doctor had to numb my toe. This entailed having a needle run COMPLETELY through my toe, from top to bottom, TWICE. I've wrecked cars, crashed motorcycles, broken my leg skiing, and cracked both my wrists from falling backward and trying to catch myself. None of that came close to the pain of that needle.


#30 Spinal Aches

Spinal headaches after a spinal tap, and the subsequent blood patches I had to receive to get rid of them. It was the most terrible six days of my life. I would rather give birth any day.


#29 Suffering Through Service

Three things: 1) working in a service job and having to deal with members of the public, 2) working in pest control (I'll be happy to never see a bed bug again), and 3) the initial job hunt once you finish school.


#28 Post-Accident Surgery

I got hit by a car on my bike while going 50 mph. I broke four bones in my hand, but that wasn't even the bad part.

The bad part was the surgery. I got three pins and five screws put in, and for the rest of the day, my hand was numb. It wasn't too bad at the start, but the next morning the feeling started to return to my hand and I felt the worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I'd call it unbearable but I didn't have a choice but to bear it.

You know how you microwave a bowl of soup and you think you can carry it to the table without burning yourself, but then you get halfway there and you get that flush of overwhelming heat in your hands? It was like that, but for about 48 hours.


#27 Ear Flushing

Having my ears flushed out at the doctor's office. They took a spray bottle with a hose and nozzle at the end, slid it in my ear canal, and shot water through. It was so forceful it felt like Bruce Lee was giving me a wet willy. It's important to keep your ears clean.


#26 Buying A House

Buying a house.

You have to find all this paperwork about your life and financial history and give it to the loan people. Then you sign your life away on 80 mortgage papers. And, the worst of it all, you have to move!

It's such a long and strenuous process that it just takes the excitement out of buying a house.


#25 IUD Insertion

Getting an IUD inserted. Holy hell. Everything before the insertion was manageable, but the insertion of the actual device was excruciating.

The first time I had it done, my gynecologist had to extract the device and replace it because it had misfired. I basically had to endure the insertion pain twice. I had to stay afterward for like, thirty minutes because the pain was so bad that I thought I was going to pass out. I really don’t want to have to ever do that again but I’m going to have to in three and a half years when this one is due to be replaced.


#24 Killer Kidney Stones

Kidney stones. I was living in a new city with no real friends and a cell phone that was nearly dead. I ended up passing two of them after several hours of very uncomfortable pain in the ER. Fun fact: the actual “passing” of the kidney stone is not as bad until it reaches near the end of the passage. THAT is where the pain comes from.


#23 Mistress By Mistake

Unknowingly being "the other woman".

I'm a single, 25-year-old female and what I've learned over the years is that some people lie about being single in order to pursue you while they're dating someone else. It's just selfish and unbelievably cruel.


#22 Healing From Heartbreak

Heartbreak. He knew he was going to break up with me but he still kept me comfortably close. It gave me false hope.

It took me over a year to move on. The entire time I was trying to get over him, I would cry myself to sleep every night and just wanted to die.

That's over and done with now, but I'm sure it will happen to me again. The next time I'm in that situation, at least I know I'll survive.


#21 Pain Attack Fainting

Panic attacks. It was akin to the sensation you get while falling down, but it felt never-ending. I couldn’t breathe, I was super hot, and I felt incredibly nauseous. At the end of it, I ended up fainting which caused me to get even more anxious. I’ve had plenty of bad events in life but this was by far the worst single feeling I’ve ever had.


#20 Rock Bottom

I loved rock climbing. It was a fun hobby of mine that I liked to spend a decent amount of free time doing.

I was never a person who was afraid of heights or falling, but after being in an accident where I fell 20 to 30 feet and broke a bunch of bones, it's something I'll need to learn to get back into.

I'll more than likely to climb again once I'm all healed up, but I never want to fall that far again and I hope no one experiences it.


#19 Collapsed Lung

My lung collapsed randomly. I was just walking and, tada, chest pain. Initially, the hospital gave me drugs that were fantastic and numbed the pain maybe 75 percent of the way. But when they removed the tubes a few weeks later, I realized just how much pain I was in. Glad it happened but hard pass on doing it again.


#18 Anesthetic Wasn't Wise

Getting my wisdom teeth out. The orthodontist told me the procedure would be faster and easier to do if I opted for a local anesthetic instead of laughing gas or going under.

Boy, do I regret it. The anesthetic didn't entirely work and they had to administer more halfway through. I thought they were going to break my jaw off when they were removing the bottom teeth. I'll also never forget the smell of burning bone dust.


#17 The Frightening Fever

Once I had a fever that was so intense, my shivers had me almost looking like I was having a seizure. My body was cold no matter how many blankets I was under. Moving an inch would send a freezing shock up my spine. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to penicillin so there wasn't much I could do besides bear through it.


#16 Bee In The Mouth

Getting stung by a bee on the inside of my mouth while swimming in the middle of a lake.


#15 The Regret Of Infidelity

Cheating. I've done it before, I've had it happen to me, and I'm done with it.

Believe it or not, cheating on someone else messed me up more than getting cheated on. It completely went against who I was. At the time that I did it, I was an absolute garbage human being with no morals... I watched my actions affect other people, and I'll never really be able to redeem myself.

I won't let myself do it again. Now, I'd rather just be an honest garbage human being.


#14 Rough Rugby Game

I fractured my skull while playing rugby when I was younger. But that wasn't the worst of it.

When I woke up from the surgery, I had two drain pipes going in from both temples across my forehead.

According to my mother at the time, the nurses had left the painkillers too long and dragged them out while I was fully conscious.

Needless to say, I never want to go through that again.


#13 Haunted By Homelessness

Being homeless.

I've been through a lot of messed up things in my life, but being homeless was the worst. I was stuck in a tiny town where everyone considers you more worthless than dirt, even the people who are supposed to be your friends. I was so suicidal back then. It lasted for 3 years and really I thought my life was over.

I'm stable now and while I'm not well off, I don't find myself in need of anything. But I will sacrifice absolutely everything to never be homeless again. I have some deeply-seeded anxiety around authority figures who have the power to take away my income or housing.


#12 Tortured By Tonsils

Getting my tonsils out as an adult. If you don't know what a tonsillectomy looks like,  they basically just burn the tissue out of the back of your mouth and you have raw, cauterized wounds in your throat for weeks. You can't eat (I lost 15 pounds in 10 days), you can barely drink (my pain meds were liquid but it still felt like jagged glass every time I drank half an ounce) and you can't talk. Even though it hurts to drink anything you still have to take sips of water every 15 minutes or so to keep the wounds from drying out too much. I also couldn't open my mouth more than an inch or two without opening all the scabs forming from the burns, so yawning was difficult.

It was completely awful. I cried for six days straight through the worst of it and it took me a total of three weeks before I was able to eat solid foods again.

Image result for in hospital bed girlShutterstock

#11 Toothpick-Sized Splinter

One time I got a splinter the size of a toothpick jammed under my thumbnail, all the way back until it couldn't go back anymore. I had to cut away my nail and try and pull the splinter out with tweezers and a needle. My arm was shaking uncontrollably after a few hours from the pain, and when I finally pulled it out it was one of best feelings I'd ever experienced. Such relief.


#10 Eye-Opening Experience

I had a piece of metal hit my eye at a pretty good speed and it buried itself deep. I had three surgeries, 10 shots of antibiotics directly in my eye and a retinal detachment because of the inflammation. I got to keep my eye, which was great, but I also have to wear a +14 contact lenses.

I pray I never injure my good eye. Always make sure to buy good safety glasses.


#9 The Brutal Bus Ride

Taking the Greyhound bus from Montreal to Whitehorse. It's four and a half days of sitting among a bunch of sketchy people. Also, my legs were swollen from so much sitting down that my ankles looked like bellbottoms. The only thing worse than the bus from Montreal to Whitehorse was the bus ride back.


#8 Wired Shut

Having my jaw wired shut.

It's more of a mental thing than pain or discomfort. The single thought of knowing that you can't open your mouth even if you wanted to was the hardest part about it.

Also, I know that throwing up is not a regular bodily function, however, the irrational fear of throwing up while my jaw was wired shut was so tormenting that often times I would keep surgical scissors nearby, in case I had to cut through the wire.


#7 Bracing For The Worst


When I was in the sixth grade and living overseas, I was told that I needed braces. Before they could install them, I had to have two teeth removed. My dentist injected my gums with the numbing medication and waited probably less than 15 minutes before she started to pull my teeth out. All I remember is crying and screaming while the dentist took out my teeth. My mother even had to hold me down. I wouldn't talk to her afterward when she took me out for ice cream.

Let me add that while I love my mother very much, I've concluded that she is an insensitive jerk. Had my father been in the room, I'm sure he would have put a stop to it. Not even a year later, my family moved back to the US. It was difficult trying to find a dentist to continue my care, but the one we did find was an absolute angel. I ended up having to have two more teeth removed and having my braces completely redone. I missed an entire day of school and sat in that chair for more than an hour watching Mouse Hunt, waiting for the medication to work. I was scared out of my mind. Somehow, I ended up explaining to my new dentist what happened to me the first time and she was shocked. She was definitely more careful and understanding. I felt absolutely nothing when she finally did pull my teeth.

Now I have perfect teeth after four years of pain so I guess it was worth it. I just really hope my girls don't ever have to go through that.


#6 Passing Out Before Presentation

I work for a small college and we sometimes do presentations at high schools. I woke up late one morning with no time to eat anything. I felt so nauseous and sick to my stomach, but I went to school anyway.

I walked into the classroom with the understanding I would have 15 minutes to present about the college and admissions. Apparently, I was actually supposed to present for an hour and a half...

Cut to me passing out in the classroom. I didn't pass out from nervousness, but instead from low blood sugar.

I never want to go to that high school ever again.


#5 Grinding Through The GRE

Taking the physics GRE. That might not seem so bad, but if I didn’t score above 50th percentile I wouldn’t get into grad school.

I ended up doing better than the 50th percentile and I did get into grad school. But by that time, I was pretty burned out by then. I left my Ph.D. program with a Master's degree.


#4 Orthodox Funerals

Funerals. I never want to go through that ever again. My family is Orthodox, and the funerals last three days. They even kiss the dead body. I mean, it's a dead body... His ghost won't haunt you if you smile instead of cry. I'd rather focus on the good times.


#3 All Done With Homework

Homework. As dumb as this sounds, I honestly I can't even begin to explain how insanely different life is without it. I have so much more free time on weekends to do things like clean, prepare meals and play games. It's so much better than being locked in a room with a paper to do. I also have time off at night to exercise and start working on projects that matter to me. All those years that I was stuck doing homework, I lost valuable time that I could have used to learn more about myself.


#2 The Horrible Hurricane

Going through a major hurricane. I didn't evacuate Panama City and witnessed my home collapse around me. I obviously survived, but I honestly thought I was going to die.

I realize now that there's no shame in evacuating. I always subscribed to that tough guy attitude when it came to storms, but no more. That egotistic mentality almost killed my family. I hope I'm never within 300 miles of a hurricane again for as long as I live.


#1 Pledging Season

Pledging to a fraternity.

It was actually fun, and we weren't hazed, but staying up studying until two a.m. only to be woken up at six a.m. to work out at the gym gets old real quick.




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