Driving down the Gardez highway in Afghanistan, on our way back to our FOB from a 30 day operation called Avalanche, we passed a mountain town on this overlook by the highway. A small girl was playing by the edge, smiling - just adorable really - waving to us as we drove past.
Her grandfather saw, picked up a shovel, hit her three times with it before we could scramble up the side of the overlook to stop him. He broke her arm, and caved in her face with the spade. When we arrived.. we found out he had done so because she was waving to us. At that point in time.. I was my CO's radio man, and while he was screaming at the man, keeping the rest of our soldiers from most likely beating him to death, I held the little girls hand - or rather, she held my index finger. I let her hold me as she died, staring bewildered into my eyes, and to this day.. hearing her breaths coming slower and slower haunts me throughout the day and night. And now I'm crying.
I had to tell my mother that my youngest brother had committed suicide. She had no idea until I told her and the sound was the worst thing I have ever heard. And I am a firefighter paramedic.
Sorry, but you asked.
I was a middle school kid when people started connecting to the internet via AOL chat rooms and a CD. We would all go to my one friend's house who was first to get AOL to play aroun on this chat rooms. There were all sorts of predators on there and AOL gave no shits until a standup comedian and childhood sex abuse victim, of all people, took them down (watch "Call me Lucky" documentary).
Of course we were curious and went to porn-related chat rooms with subtle names like "gifs" or "pics" or "jpegs". People would pop in and send zip files full of images to the whole room that would often contain all sorts of stuff. You had to open the files to see what you got and we were curious 12 yr olds. I'll always remember the three of us going silent and the sick feeling when we opened a pic and realized what we'd gotten into with one of these. I will never ever forget that black and white image. Or the face of this very little girl, crying, completely hurt and confused, and being abused by a grown man (probably her deranged father).
Some fuck made me see this at 12 years old when we were still just curious about how things work. I'd never even kissed a girl yet. More than two decades later I still have flashbacks of this garbage sometimes that make me feel indescribably dirty and sad. The thing that makes me feel the worst is that i can remember so vividly this poor child, but I cannot as clearly or consistently recall the face of my own grandmother who I loved more than anyone as a kid. I hope she survived. I hope she was not completely broken. That is probably the moment I truly lost my innocence.
One of my parents strangling the other during an argument.
Guy cut off his own penis to win a pain tolerance contest. He quickly put it on ice and hurried to the ER.
Woman screaming when she saw her husband hanging from the rafters of their garage. Just bone chilling. Can't forget it.
I went to a cadaver lab for my hs anatomy class a few years ago, and the skinned bodies really disturbed me. Just seeing how small they were, along with the way the hands were positioned and stiff. I volunteered in an ER for a few years and have seen dead bodies before so I thought it wouldn't bother me, but something about the bodies being skinned really freaked me out and stuck with me.
3 years ago, I watched a lady get smashed by a train. She drove her car onto the track in front of the train and stopped. Then she got blasted. I was stunned, watching her car get pushed along, out of sight. It took the train a long time to stop. Trains still make me nervous.
It was a suicide.
Was in the children's hospital, we took our newborn son in being the over concerned parents with a new baby. While in the waiting room another couple brought maybe a 3 year old in. Filled out papers and sat in there waiting room too.
Suddenly the kids dad shouts that they needed a nurse. Kid was out and fully limp foaming at the mouth. I've never seen so many doctors move so quickly. I have no idea what was wrong with the kid or what happened, but I had to go to the bathroom and sit there in shock. I literally thought I just watched a child die. Killed me.
I was stopped at a T-intersection, at the light. Across the street is a huge field. There was police activity in the field. While waiting for the light to change, I was watching this activity, not really understanding what I was seeing.
They were reaching up into a tree and jiggling it around.
Then a body fell out of it and I watched it hit the ground. A young female body. While I sat there dumbfounded, they continued to jiggle the tree and another body fell out.
I was so rattled by this I had to pull over for a few minutes.
I found out on the news that night that there had been the discovery of a young man and young womans body from a previousy unrealized motorcyle accident. A man walking his dog found a wrecked motorcyle. Looking about, he found the bodies which had somehow landed in this low tree. They had gone to make the turn at this T intersection, swung wide and hit the curb, which catapulted the motorcyle into the field and flung the bodies into the trees, impaling them. Where they stayed for three days in the Texas heat until that man walked his dog.
The whole thing horrified me. Both were 18 years old. No one saw the accident since they figured it happened in the middle of the night, and no one at all called in a missing persons for these two teens.
The most horrifying part was not even that. It was that they said the womans injuries were not life threatening, that her hanging in the tree, at some point she had bled out. Can you fathom being impaled in a tree next to a major road and NO ONE can hear you calling for help? Or see you? In 110 degree heat? With your boyfriends dead body looking right at you from a few feet away?
It's been almost five years and it still haunts me, the visual of those bodies falling out of the tree.
Joined a meme group on facebook. Somebody posted a picture of a baby being choked and blue in the face, in the comments was a video of a woman choking a 10 year old kid. As a father this haunts me, I left the group.
I was walking on an overpass over a freeway. I saw some guy run across and make it to the middle and climb over the divider. He just kept running, didn't even look. A truck hit him and i swear he just exploded. The driver got out and just started screaming. I still get chills remembering.
The face of my mother on the day before she finally lost her battle with cancer.
At this point the cancer was in her brain, skull, liver, lungs and bones. She was in so much pain that for the final three days she was basically unconscious and on pain killers.
I didn't leave her room for those last three days and my aunty and I were basically watching mums chest move up and down and waiting for that final breath.
On the second last day my aunty went down to the cafeteria to get us food, it was night time and I was alone in the room with mum.
She woke up very suddenly, sitting up almost immediately and started moving to the side of the bed. She was panicking and saying that she needed to use the bathroom. At this point she starts grabbing at the catheter coming from out of her robe and is trying to pull the tube out. I had to grab her and try to tell her that she was safe and she could just pee.
My mother hadn't really moved in two days and I hadn't looked in her eyes. They were a deep yellowy-green colour (something to do with bile build-up I don't know I'm not a doctor). But seeing the woman that has always been my strong, confident protector in that state. Scared, disorientated, sickly and just terrified.
That face that looked up at me, and those eyes, will haunt me forever.
TL:DR; My dying mother's face when she awoke in a painkiller-induced panic attack
Someone burning to death in a car wreck. I'll never forget those sounds.
I've seen a lot of rough things. One that stands out for some reason:
I'm the passenger two cars back from an intersection, stopped at a light. A man speeds through on his bicycle just as the car ahead of us begins to make a right (I don't know if the light had changed; right on red is not generally permitted in that city).
The car just barely clipped him. I had a clear view, and it looked like such a small thing, almost a flick of the front bumper against his wheel.
He went flying. He was not wearing a helmet.
Time both slowed and compressed. I have severe PTSD. I'm bad at normal life, but in a crisis I'm often at my best. The driver and passenger of the car ahead were standing back against a building, panicking. I got the strong impression they were coordinating a lie of some kind--that the passenger was going to claim to have been the driver. Reasons of their own. Man and woman. She had long dark hair, tank top. Otherwise, I don't remember.
I remember the guy who got hit, though. I ran over to him. My driver friend calling 911. Pavement is warm. There's a lot of blood. The back of his head is completely smashed, and his brain is only held in by the fact that he's on his back. On the warm pavement, asphalt. It's summer. Later I found out he was just going to get ice cream.
Talking to him. He keeps trying to sit up. No, no, must stay still. No English, he doesn't speak English. What's your name, hey, friend, amigo, como te llamo? Hey, it's all right, gonna be okay, can you talk to me, buddy?
Keeps reaching for his shirt. Pocket of his shirt. Finally I see his wallet. He wants me to take it out. Happy, yes. He folds it open carefully. He's showing me his ID. His name. Tap, tap. Yes, hello, Margarito! Hola, bueno, it's okay. He's holding my hand, and my other hand is on his chest. Very warm. Strangely intimate, a moment of irrational connection. He's bleeding so much.
But he's awake. He never loses consciousness. We keep talking. Half-Spanish babble. Where the fuck fuck fuck is the ambulance? How can it take so fucking long? Don't freak out. Don't let him see that. He has to stay calm. No, no, amigo. Don't sit up. Don't touch your head.
In a rush I'm pushed aside. An off-duty EMT driving by has seen us, pulled over and grabbed his kit from his trunk. Just like that I'm back in the familiar car. My hands and shirt cuffs are bloody. I have nothing to clean them with but rough pieces of scrap paper, so I roll that up and scrub, and scrub, until the friction takes some of it away.
I check obituaries for days, but I don't see his name. I think I asked the EMT if he'd be all right, and that the EMT said he could be. I might be inventing that memory now. But he was awake, he stayed awake and coherent, and I think he could be, eventually, more or less okay again.
I think about him often--when I see a bicyclist without a helmet in traffic, or a driver not paying attention to bikes. Or when I catch a particular scent of warm asphalt and remember how small and fierce and strange his heartbeat felt under my palm.
Was probably 6 or 7. Heard my parents fighting really bad and then banging on the front door. Crept down the stairs to see police taking pictures of a potato peeler through my mom's hand. Blood everywhere. Never forget that.
My stepfather dying in a hospital bed from liver failure. He was pale yellow, his lips were cracked and bleeding, he couldn't drink anything. My mom rubbed ice cubes on his lips, that's all the doctors would allow. Liver failure is the most painful, drawn out way to die and haunts me to this day.
Friends thought they were cool and edgy. Asked me if I wanted to see some video they saw on Insta. I said sure, why not cause 14 year old me had not been exposed to the real world at all yet. Turns out they followed ISIS and they thought compilations of people getting executed via shotgun was cool. Makes it hard to sleep knowing that shit like that happens pretty much every day in more ways than just that.
Not even that long ago but a video on Facebook of a dog with its dick stuck inside a ducks vagina. Only saw it for a second but still every so often I get upset by it. Especially because of the people standing around the animals laughing and the Facebook comments. Just not fair.
A guy run out in the street and get hit by a car and basically to a cartwheel through the air over the car as it passed under him.
That and my dad drunk off his ass in his underwear a week before he died from alcoholism. He wouldn't answer his phone for a week, so I had to get the police to meet us at his house to go in and check on him. I thought he was already dead and I didn't want to be the one to find the body.
I was driving home from work and saw a huge fire from the freeway. It turned out to be the home of a classmate who was murdered along with her mother by someone I knew.
My dying brother in a coma a few days before his wife had them pull the plug.
Saw a dog get hit by a a car in front of the owner. It was a fluffy ass white Pomeranian with a young good looking gal jogging right next to each other. They were at a crosswalk and the girl still jogging in place looks down and smiles at her cute ass dog and the dog looks up lovingly at it’s owner and for some reason that dog just walked into the street and was instantly hit by an SUV. I will never forget the sound of that poor dogs body against that car. It didn’t die. It screamed in pain and made an attempt to move, but it’s body was broken. It was like a bloody mop flopping around trying to get back to it’s owner. That poor girl screamed, picked it up but kind of threw it up because of how absolutely broken her poor dog was, there was no way to tell how it went, like where it’s head was..
We were at a restaurant for my mom's birthday. Me, my sister, my dad, my mom, and my granddad. I was going to start my senior year of high school.
My granddad asked me how I would translate a Latin sentence that he'd recently come across. Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. It's a quote from Tacitus, and he was asking how my sister and I would translate 'solitudinem'. I was immediately like 'uhh, solitude?' and my sister was smarter and said 'desolation'. She was right, he said. "They make a wasteland and call it peace."
That's the last thing I remember him saying.
Not long after that, he had gone quiet, and we realized he was choking.
It took about one minute from things to go from 'oh, he's just choking' to 'oh my god he's going to die'. His face turned blue and he fell on the floor. We did try to do the Heimlich, I remember that. Someone called the ambulance, and someone knew someone who knew a nurse who lived close, and she got called, or something like that. I don't remember.
What I do remember is the paramedics, when they got there, had this machine that had a translucent rubber mallet on the end of it. They put it over his chest and it kept striking into it. I know it was meant to help, and if he hadn't already been very far gone by that point I'm sure it would have. But the sight of this gorgeous, homey restaurant filled with people eating and then a man I loved very much on the floor with a box over his chest punching into it is never going to go away.
This is going to be *so* tame, but...a dead cat at the end of my driveway, in a puddle of blood.
It was the neighbor's cat, who would pick a fight with another cat in the neighborhood. Sweet cat too, loved attention. He got hit by a car and run over. I screamed when I saw him as I was taking the garbage pails to the front for the garbagemen the next day.
Makes me cry, knowing that even though we don't live on a high-traffic street, if one of my indoor cats accidentally got out of the house...
My brothers body being wheeled out of parents house, while his twin brother bawled over it, and his dog crying and trying to jump on it.