These People's Lives Were Ruined in a Single Day | 22 Words

We've all seen people become their own downfall. Depending on your situation, it's not hard to be your own worst enemy. But to ruin everything in a single day? That takes some real effort.

And then again, sometimes it's not the person's own fault. Sometimes the world is just that that unfair, and everything goes wrong in the span of a few hours--or even minutes.

Redditors are sharing these stories, of the people they've seen whose lives turned upside down in a day. When you think about it, that could happen to anyone!

So without further ado, here's how to ruin your life.

Ever fallen for those internet scams? These people have.

I used to work in the FTC-HELP call center. So we took calls from people reporting that they had been scammed. All-day, 60 calls a day of people who had been scammed. I have heard it all.


Like this story:

One of the worst was when a guy called and was telling me that he had been sending his mortgage for his farm, which was like a $2k/month mortgage, via Western Union to Nigeria because he got a phone call a year ago from someone saying he was with the mortgage company and to send the payment that way from now on. He was telling me that he was now going to lose the farm and his wife was leaving him for it. He was in bad shape.


It also happens to the elderly more often.

S**t like that really does happen. And other cases of other people calling to report that their parents have sent over a million to Nigeria via western union. That job was eye-opening in a bad way. Really boosted my cynicism. -lukistke

Teen pregnancy is no joke.

One guy that I knew found out that he was going to be a father on his graduation night.

He was 17, and he looked absolutely destroyed.


Be careful where you do your complaining...

Riding a crowded elevator.

A casually dressed computer science type of person is chatting with his bud on their way up, lunch in hand. He's complaining about some "f***ing outside analyst" coming to "f*** up their afternoon" with "petty b***s**t." Just absolutely letting it all out on the short ride up to their floor.


Because you probably shouldn't gripe AT work.


The two men exit, still griping and moaning about how much they hate nosy outsiders meddling in their work. Suddenly, there's a quick shuffle behind us, as a very well-dressed tall fellow in shoes worth more than my monthly take bounds in a long proud stride off the elevator.

-ColorsByVest reap what you sow.

As the doors close, we watch in horror as he raises his hand towards the two employees. "Excuse me! Gentlemen! Mind holding the door? So I can f*** up your afternoon?"


Lots of wind hissed through clenched teeth in that elevator.

We never saw those guys again.


Gambling addiction is truly sad.

I play poker. I once saw a man on my way in betting about 10k all on one roulette spin. He chose red and lost. He looked defeated. Later that night, a guy at our table told us that he heard the guy on the phone crying in the parking lot trying to explain to his wife that he lost their money. She was screaming and said she wants a divorce. -Caedo14

Coping with loss doesn't always happen in a healthy way.

My step dad's life was ruined the day his son/my brother died. He couldn't cope with the loss, couldn't comprehend the rest of us were hurting just as bad, and turned even deeper into the alcohol and became even more emotionally abusive. -SkipTheStorms

And then, this awful ultimatum:

Couple years later, when he forced my mom to choose him or me, I watched her make the hardest decision I've probably ever seen her make: she walked away from her husband, the love of her life. -SkipTheStorms

What a crazy thing to just drop on your kid.

One of my friends was playing online with me when I hear a knock on his door through the mic. His parents walk in and decide to tell them that he is adopted and that they are getting a divorce. All in one go. No emotional breaks or anything and my friend just breaks down over the mic as his parents walk out. -Thatisslightlysad

Here's a job you DON'T wanna mess up.

One of the former anesthesiology residents in the program here was in his last (CA-3) year. He was on emergency call, which comes after C1 C2 and C3 and basically never ever calls in, but you have to be available in the event that you do get called in. Most people will sleep with their phone on or go out to the movies or do basically anything within a 30 min drive of the hospital.


And then, this:

Some crazy car accident happens that night around 2 AM and multiple trauma cases are going back into the OR. Our dude fell asleep and his iPhone did some automatic update so he didn't get the call from the hospital immediately. His pager battery also died sometime that evening. He doesn't realize any of this until he's getting ready for work the next day at around 5:45 AM and sees his phone blown up. Shows up to work at 6, fired on the spot. The guy was 2 months away from graduation and starting salary of $400k a year plus overtime. -rameninside

This is a terrible situation for someone to be in:

My elderly father unwittingly married a woman who would abuse him for four and a half years before we found out. We met her on the day of the wedding. That day sealed his fate. She isolated him from us, coerced him to sell his assets, stripped his bank accounts and almost, almost killed him, but we rescued him and he lived with us until he died... -iechyd_da

This is more than just a routine firing...

I was working in a bank, one day the director fired one of his executives, the whole "empty your desk, you're fired" speech in front of everyone. The director was furious and the guy seemed entirely destroyed.


How well do you REALLY know your friends?

Then he explains to all that this guy gave his login and password to a friend in another branch. The friend used that login (and others) while doing some kind of credit card fraud, police arrested her but lacked evidence against the fired guy. So they just fired him on the spot, obviously, besides losing his job he was also blacklisted to work in banks or finance. -Hastur082

One big bad decision:

An 18-year-old tried to steal a couple of bottles of Hennessy from my store. When I confronted him, he swung the bottle at my head and connected (I rolled with the blow so it didn’t do much damage). Charged with assault and robbery by my company. Violent crimes offender and lost custody of his baby. -Kuroude7

A no good, horrible, very bad day.

I knew a guy who, within the same 24 hours, learned that his wife of 7 years was pregnant with someone else’s child, his wife was filing for divorce, and she was going to try to get their house to herself because she was the primary signer on their mortgage because his credit wasn’t so hot.

That was brutal to see.


What a horrific family reunion.

We had extended family together for a holiday and everyone was making jokes about how my cousin was late. His mom and dad were involved in the jokes. Texting him being upset about how he was late and all.

Turns out, someone hit him in a head-on collision on his way over and he died on impact.

The police knocked on the door to notify the family like a movie. I’ll never forget watching the family crumple to the ground.


Huh. I didn't know that a "minivan" was a unit of measure these days.

A friend of mine got busted in a drug raid and was caught with half a minivan's worth of weed. -Mist3rTryHard

Sometimes life is just tragic.

I was a surgical intern, and there was a 4th-year med student (just one year behind me) on our general surgery team as an acting "intern". Dude was an "all American" in every sense - extremely bright, tall and good-looking, charming to talk to, class president, etc. He was literally like "Captain America" Steve Rogers incarnate. Wanted to be a general surgeon at my hospital, and all of my attending physicians were extremely fond of him. They already were talking about how great of a resident he would make and what to do when he was an intern.


Everything was looking amazing for this guy.

It was nearing the end of his rotation, and he was scheduled to do a routine surgery with the chair of the department - specifically, so the chair could evaluate him and give him a letter of recommendation afterward. The evening before his big day, he and I went over the steps of the procedure, and the little quirks that the chair liked, so he could impress the chair for a good letter. He left and we texted about some additional tiny details about the surgery later.


And then this happens so suddenly:

Next morning, my chief tells me I need to scrub in for the surgery that the student was supposed to do because he hadn't shown up yet. I told a 3rd-year medical student who was also on our team to go look for him because it wasn't like him to be late (this guy was militantly punctual, it was odd he'd be late on a day like this). About an hour into the surgery, my chief resident comes in and asks me to scrub out, and informs me that the student I had sent earlier had found him in his apartment, in a pool of his own blood. Shot through the neck. None of his possessions were missing, and he had no clear enemies or reasons that someone might want him dead. Someone just broke in and shot him.


It must be an unbelievable thing to experience.

I had trouble believing it, it was very bizarre and surreal. I was later questioned by a detective because I was technically the last person to communicate with him (via text). A few months later they eventually caught the kids responsible a few states away (apparently it was some sort of gang initiation to kill a random person), and they got their due. But the whole ordeal left me in a funk for a while, because it was so completely random and senseless, and that kid had literally EVERYTHING going for him - he was one of the really good ones. -superwillis

From honors student to wreck:

Three weeks after graduating from high school, an honors student got drunk at a party and put a knife in another guy's chest. Didn't kill him, but it was a close call. Goodbye adulthood. -sunlightFTW

How can family betrayal like this actually exist?

The first one that pops to mind is one of my coworkers arriving at work sobbing hysterically. It took a while to calm her down to the point where we could understand anything she was saying. I thought she must have been robbed or something, but it turned out she'd just found love letters in her car, from her mother to her husband. ...How do you ever recover from that? I mean, if my husband was just having an affair with a chick or another man, I'd just divorce him...but MY MOTHER??? I still think about that. Poor girl. She was such a nice person and did not deserve that.  -aquay

This man screwed up so badly, he had to pick the lesser of two difficult futures.

Like 7ish years ago, a bunch of the crew chiefs at my guard base were out celebrating one of their own who got his associate's degree. They were all drinking, not a ton, and eventually went home. Except for one guy. He stayed and drank until the last call. He decided to drive home.  -powerlesshero111

And this is why you NEVER drink and drive.

He hit a 20-year-old who was on his way to work at about 2 am and turned him into a paraplegic. Our wing commander basically told him, plead guilty (to the county) and go to jail with an administrative discharge (his family would have been able to keep some of his benefits, like the VA loan and GI Bill), or fight it, lose, cost his family tons of money, and get a dishonorable (dishonorable basically is like you never even served). He plead guilty. -powerlesshero111

The stock market can be a risky thing.

My dad used to work at Prudential Financial, and he told me that in the days after Enron's stock suddenly dropped to nothing, some of his coworkers just walked around like zombies. Apparently, they'd put a ton of money into Enron, and were now completely screwed. -LotusPrince

With a few words, this family changed forever.

When I was 7, my father came home from work and told my mother he wanted a divorce. He grabbed a suitcase and packed some things while my mother alternated between crying, trying to cook dinner for me and my brother, and screaming at him that he was insane, she had no idea where this was coming from, and she would change the locks if he left. He did leave, and she did indeed change the locks the very next day. -beanfiddler

The troubles didn't end there.

She went from a homemaker to a single mother the next day, and our standing of living fell immensely. I don't think she ever recovered from the stress of the divorce and trying to raise us on her own. Thinking about what a kind, smart, and wonderful person my mother is and how my father basically ruined her life when she was only 32 makes me really sad. She just wanted to have kids and then go back to work when we were both in grade school, so she could be a teacher like she wanted to. But the divorce killed that dream: we became latchkey kids in a bad neighborhood while she had to work in call centers or in hotel housekeeping because being a teacher didn't pay enough or give her enough time off to take care of us. I became a surrogate mother for my baby brother when my mother worked long hours. It was a culture shock, to say the least. -beanfiddler

Not just one life changed.

I remember going to therapy (which I now know was court-ordered because my mom wanted to have sole custody, so she had to have us evaluated to prove that my dad wasn't up to task of sharing custody) throughout the divorce proceedings, and counselors telling me over and over that it was going to be okay, that my parents still loved us and we'd still go to the same school and have the same life we would have. I didn't believe them at the time, and I was right to: our lives derailed entirely that single day. -beanfiddler

And even when it's over, it's not really over.

I'm okay, so is my brother. But my mother gave all of her health and the best years of her life to raising us in thankless circumstances while my father failed to pay child support and came around only enough to avoid a bench warrant or to prevent my mom from gaining sole custody and increasing his support obligations. It makes me bitter to see him happy now, and my mother in poor health when she's two decades too young to have the health problems of an 80-year-old. (Related: my grandmother became our second mother in the wake of the divorce. The stress of that killed her as well. You can track pictures of her from about 55 when my parents got divorced, and how young and beautiful she was. Then you look at pictures of her in her 60s, and she looks haggard. She died of cancer in her early 70s.) -beanfiddler

Basically, one dad ruined a whole bunch of lives.

I blocked out the memories of those early days for a long time. I've only recently done the heavy lifting of trying to dig up the emotions and events of my life from age 7 to about 14 (I honestly remember little to nothing, traumatic memory is wild) pursuant to my goal of trying to support my mom (partially because she deserves it, partially because I don't want her to meet the same fate as my grandmother). It's weird to think about how I wouldn't be on the hook for my mom's failing health now, I could have had a happier childhood, and my mom could have had a better life, (and my grandmother might not be dead) had my dad just decided not to be a miserable a**hole that day and all the days thereafter. -beanfiddler

Finally: yeah, teachers really can't do this.

My history teacher came drunk to school.

He would also tell that he would grade exams while drunk and when he got bored he’d just give As. He got kicked out, obviously.

-AnaNastase2001 Some of these are events we'd never think up on our own, yet they really happen to people. Share these stories with your friends!