Moments that changed your life

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by shadowritten, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. shadowritten

    shadowritten
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    As the thread title, really. Here's one to kick things off:

    Without going into great detail about my complicated family history, I have a strained relationship with my father. An inveterate gambler, boozer and womaniser, he was also a skilled con man. We're talking charming vulnerable women of a certain age, raking in thousands sometimes ... which he'd then blow, being a gambler! :rolleyes: Anyway, he wasn't all bad, but one particular trick he pulled nearly pushed me over the edge.

    In short, he made me believe his life was in danger if he didn't repay a certain gambling debt very quickly. He tried to sting me for quite a considerable sum, but it backfired when he accidentally let something slip which set alarm bells ringing and eventually led me to discover he was bluffing to get back at me for something cruel I'd done to him after he was effectively thrown out of our family.

    Well, I was so enraged at having been tricked by my own father (I think I was 20 at the time), that I set out on a course of action that could've had the most awful consequences. I left the house one evening knowing he'd be in only one of two pubs. And I was on my way there to kill him.

    Sounds dramatic now, but I was stoked and ready to finish him. As it turned out, I went to the wrong pub - and after I'd left it, my resolve thankfully crumbled. On my walk home - about 4 miles - I felt like crap, really wretched. It was the only time in my life when inside, it was like I could hear the devil laughing at me (I'm being metaphorical here, you understand?); like he was saying, 'See? I got you!'

    The day before this happened, I'd been ribbing a lorry driver I used to work with about him being a born-again Christian. Despite my merciless mocking, he didn't retaliate - and I felt good about myself for jeering him. What a berk I was back then! Anyway, the day after this horrible episode, I saw this guy again as usual, and he noticed I was down. I didn't want to talk about it, so he just said, 'Would you like me to pray for you?' Well, after my brush with 'the devil' the previous evening, I thought to myself that it couldn't hurt ... naturally assuming he'd go off to his little parish church later that day, get on his knees and mumble a few platitudes to God on my behalf.

    Only, he didn't. He got off the back of the lorry, put his hand on my shoulder, shut his eyes ... and started praying aloud!!!

    I felt really awkward, but said nothing, hoping it would stop soon! Then, something happened that made my blood run cold: mid-sentence, he began talking in a language I'd never heard and couldn't describe as being like any other language I knew of. That moment, I just assumed this was the much-discussed 'talking in tongues'. Then, again mid-sentence, he broke back into English.

    I asked him how he did it, and he looked at me blank, like I was winding him up again. He refused to believe that anything had happened, quite convinced that I was making it all up.

    Which leads me to my life-changing moment. From that moment to this day, I've never again mocked a man's religious convictions. That experience shook me of my arrogance; and strangely, it gave me the courage to deal with my father in a much less drastic way.


    Anyway, over to you lot. :)
     
  2. mjn

    mjn
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    The day i discovered curry.......i've never been the same since!
     
  3. GBDG1

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    After your epic tale I feel intimidated, it's like going for a wee next to John Holmes.
     
  4. shadowritten

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    Just scared my cat by laughing! :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  5. GBDG1

    GBDG1
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    well there's more than one way to scare a cat... *sigh*
     
  6. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Perfectly demonstrated by Max Cady at the end of the Cape Fear remake as he sinks!!!!

    Pete.
     
  7. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    I suppose for me it was the day in Salisbury in Wiltshire when I was in a hurry, stepped off the pavement and was clipped by a Peugeot 405, breaking my femur and leaving me a little banged up. Strangely I rate this as a positive experience.

    Up until that point (I was 17 at the time) my A Levels weren't going desperately well, it wasn't as if I couldn't do them but there were girls, pubs and funny cigarettes to challenge for my attention as well. Put bluntly I was slacking with the best of them. All of a sudden I found myself with a great deal of time on my hands whilst I recovered- the doctors made a decision I am grateful for to this day which was to set my femur rather than pin it. This rendered me fairly immobile for the thick end of three months.

    In that three months two interesting things happened. The first was that with little else to really do, I was able to devote some real time to my A Levels and my grades began to improve considerably. I started to enjoy what I was doing a great deal more and this upturn in performance I suspect was what allowed me in to my university of choice.
    The second is that my real friends didn't baulk at the fact that I wasn't really able to get hammered in town every saturday (have you tried using a train in a leg cast? I must admit to not being man enough) and stayed with me whilst others (the type your mother would refer to as a "bad sort") left me. I still speak to all of the people in that circle- even if the conversation with the girl who became my (now ex) girlfriend are a little strained these days. They are all my real friends.

    That ill timed crossing of the road and the subsequent three months, I can safetly say had a huge bearing on my life.
     
  8. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    I asked him how he did it, and he looked at me blank, like I was winding him up again. He refused to believe that anything had happened, quite convinced that I was making it all up.

    I am rather confused by his reaction??
     
  9. shadowritten

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    Join the club! He just laughed and kept smiling, dismissing what I said. Perhaps he didn't believe in the phenomena outside of its Biblical context? Who knows.
     
  10. la gran siete

    la gran siete
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    religious people do confuse me, especially the extreme variants. Talking in tounges, messing about with poisonous snakes in the belief God will protect them, refusing blood transfusions??? Its just weird? Still I ,like you, dont ridicule them anymore as that says more about me than them.

    Cant contribute much else to this thread as I havent had one of those life changing moments although I do relate to having a poor relationship with my father as well.
     
  11. hottstuff

    hottstuff
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    2 things:

    1. the day my father passed away 8 months ago.:(

    2. the day my child was born 4 weeks ago.:)
     
  12. shadowritten

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    Bear in mind I had no way of knowing what ACTUALLY happened - whether or not he DID 'talk in tongues' or whatever. Firstly, he was Jamaican, so what he said could've been some Caribbean language or dialect. Secondly, I was suffering a lot of emotional stress at that time ... maybe I hallucinated, or simply imagined the incident? What matters is the effect it had on me: namely, to teach me religious tolerance.
     
  13. stealther

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    Shadowritten I admire your honesty and so you have inspired me to share mine. :)

    Two events have happened to me which can be classified as life changing events.
    Forgive me for not going into intimate details as I rarely talk about these events with anyone.

    My best friend died at the age of 12 in cruel circumstances which had a profound impact on my life. The best way I can describe the changes is it encouraged an element of recklessness which I still battle with today. It made me the type of person who would dive head on into any situation and damn the consequences. It didn't make me into a rebel I was still well behaved at school and home It just meant I took more risks and if I wanted to do something then I did it I just didn't tell anyone until afterwards. So all the things that I used to be afraid to do such as jumping of Stourport Bridge into the River Severn I just went a head and did even though someone inside was screaming at me to stop. As I grew older my recklessness got worse and it took another horrific event to make me stop.

    About 2 1/2 years ago something happened which changed the direction my life was heading. A very close friend and colleague of mine moved away to attend University and was hit by a bus and killed on freshers weekend. It was the day after my birthday and I was told the next morning in work. I had the horrible duty of informing our friends. Within 24hrs I had decided I was going to turn my life around. I set about organising transportation for 8 friends to get to the funeral and liaising with our employer to ensure that everyone had the time off. I had been asked to be a Pall Bearer and accepted the honour despite it being one of the hardest moments of my life. A lot of bad feelings arose from the way in which our employer handled the death, I took responsibility for this and ensured they got there just deserts.

    After a conversation with his mom about making the most of life I decided I needed to stop my reckless lifestyle.
    Up until then I had been drifting through uni spending money left right and centre having the best clothes, hundred and hundreds of DVD's eating out huge drinking sessions several expensive hobbies amassing tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, not caring where it was all going to end.

    I proposed to my girlfriend who said yes, cut up my credit cards and got help dealing with my debts. I started thinking about our future for the first time. I finished university and moved with my fiancée to Nottingham and I am supporting her through university so we can have a better life together.

    Anyway I am sorry that I have left some elements of the story out but there either to upsetting or make me to angry to make public.
     
  14. shadowritten

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    Stealther, it should be me admiring you, mate. Thank you for sharing.
     
  15. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Mine is one I am sure we are all familiar with. :thumbsdow

    2 years ago on Feb 5th 2004 I made a decision to end what was a happy marriage to my long term partner Sue as I was suffering from severe depression which I have been battling for a long time, but it finally caught up with me. This decision proved to be cataclysmic for my health as the irony is that Sue was the one person who was and probably could have helped me.

    Since that day things went terribly down hill for me. I suddenly became a social misfit and lost all of my friends which can happen when a marriage ends. I had some major problems in work and was falsley accused of looking at porn on the internet at work as well as making inappropriate sexual comments to a female member of staff (again untrue) and I was close to being dismissed. I had to sit through a three panel enquiry about behaviour not becoming of a civil servant when I was in fact 100% innocent of the charges. I took 5.5 months off work with the depression and hardly left my flat. In the end I was vindicated and the person or rather, the bully who accused me of this was despatched to work in another office. (not really told anyone this before)

    I ended up in major debt as I thought AV gear would make me happy but I lost everything I had worked for in the divorce courts so had to sell the lot. Of course, the net result was a massive nervous breakdown and I took a large overdose but was brought back to life and I have been trying to turn the corner since then. Sometimes I think I get to the corner but the illness creeps back.

    There have been some good times in that lot, notably my trip to OZ and meeting Karen the Aussie girl who took me there. I moved home to live with my parents in the summer of 2005 after they finally relented and offered me support, something they did not do when Sue and I first separated

    Today, I try my best but my confidence is still pretty low though I am coming back brighter. I have 90% of my debt paid now and a little bit left to go and I realise that there are people in far worse positions than me.
    However, the one thing that leaves my heart heavy is the fact that I lost Sue, an amazing person and I know that I can never recover that love, which after meeting other people seems to be harder to take as its simply not the same though I never discount walking into a bar, cafe etc and meeting someone who can change that.

    So there you have it.....the day my life changed. :smashin: I think that in that millisecond when Sue and I sat down, if only I had said I need help rather than what I did, things would have been totally different though its this milliseconds that make life up I suppose.

    Pete.
     
  16. colinwheeler

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    Captain, I can understand that moment...and there is nothing anybody can say, not even yourself I guess.

    Mine is a strange situation because although it was most probably one of the most devestating things that ever happened to me, I am still 16 years on, trying to figure it out.

    Basically we were a very close bunch of friends, one of which I got on with like a brother (both of us were only children). He had been dating one of the other girls in the group for a long time (years) on and off and they had other partners etc during the off times. Anyway, me and her also started to develop a very close attachment and during one of my mates off times with her this almost became a physical thing between me and her. He was a bit upset with this but we worked past it and nothing ever became of it.

    About a year later though, he was really depressed and we had gone out for a party with the whole group. Me and him drove together in his car. He ended up having a bit much to drink and we left to go to another club followed by another set of my friends in another car. He basically was not in decent control of the car and nearly hit a middle divider in the road and I grabbed the wheel from his hands. This set him off and he started shouting at me about not doing that while he was driving. I said back to him that I did not care and was interested in both of our saftey rather than his ego and that I would rather get out and walk if he was going to be a !"£$. He turned around to me and said well I had better because he was so down and finished with it all and just did not want to carry on and did not care (he was a bit blunter but I don't care to repeat his words) and that I should get out. I did and got picked up by my friends behind and he drove off.

    I found out on the Sunday following the Friday night that we had been out that he had a car crash that evening in which he had been killed, about an hour after he dropped me off. The crash was ruled as an accident and his blood levels were actually at that stage under the legal limit. The whole incident continues to haunt me though to this day.

    I can't explain the impact or if it changed me, only that I believe that I value life a lot more now and that I really try to be nice and more considderate to people, and it is funny, but that is not because I think they will top themselves if I don't but rather that you just never realise the frailty of the human condition and how long you are actually going to get to spend with these amazing people. I just try and appreciate people more now.
     
  17. hottstuff

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    thats rough mate.
    we can only do our best
     
  18. Bat-man

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    Two things that have really changed my life:
    1
    Getting involved in the Gay Liberation Front in Leeds back in the early 70's. It set my 'life rules' which I still try to adhere to.
    2
    Breaking down in the Arizona desert, miles from anywhere and sharing the night with the snakes and scorpions! Fantastic sky with a myriad of stars. Made me think about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Made a lot of changes since then (1997) including throwing away my watch. I no longer live by the clock. Made a huge difference to my sense of well-being.
     
  19. mh123

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  20. smelly

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    Oh God there's loads of incidents that have impacted my life - some good some bad. I suppose the major ones are:

    - moved out from home when I was 17. This was a good thing, always got on well with my mum and dad and still do so it wasn't somthing I would've done but they moved away and I wanted to stay with my mates. It taught me a lot and I loved every minute of it :D

    - a fair few years later I'd married and then separated as my husband hit me. Only once, it wasn't at all like some people suffer but after a couple of years of verbal abuse it was enough of a wake up call to make me leave.And after the initial hurt I ended up a much more confident, strong person.

    - 5 yrs ago I lost a son at birth and this has had the biggest impact on my life so far. Like everyone else who has had life threatening moments to them or people close to them, this is the thing that makes you think the most. You realise how precious life is and how you want to make the most of every moment.

    - Falling in love with someone who is with someone else and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

    Reading back on all that it doesn't sound so good!! But I've always considered I've had a good life and I've enjoyed it.

    And of course winning the lottery this weekend is just going to cap it all off nicely :D
     
  21. colinwheeler

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    We are all holding thumbs for you!:thumbsup:

    BTW, I like yachts and tropical islands;)
     
  22. mason

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    Well folks... my hat is off to you all for pouring your heart out. I have had a few life changing events in my life but I have never been one to talk about them and I still cant. I would like to but just cant.

    I will share with you my most recent moment that I will out very briefly.

    Realising that my wife loves me more than i love/like myself and more than i deserve.

    G
     
  23. shadowritten

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    You're a lucky guy. Now try to follow her example if you can, mate. :)
     
  24. colinwheeler

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    Those amazing dizzy moments are just the best.:clap:
     
  25. huwg

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    Several... and I'm really unsure about posting htis more than any other of my previous ones, but here goes.....

    Meeting the person who would later become my wife

    The day our first daughter was born

    The day our second daughter was born....

    ....and the day she died (3 weeks old).
    I tried CPR (via instruction over the phone), but it was not to be.

    It really brings this whole mortality thing home to you. Even now (3 years later) I am still bitter. It certainly puts things into perspective. When people demand this and that, it helps when you realise that their idea of a bad thing (they miss their deadline), is nothing. I just shrug and think 'good grief, whats the fuss'. In a way I have become more chilled and softer, but parts of me have become much tougher.

    Finally, the birth of our third daughter :)
     
  26. huwg

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    The loss of a child is one of the things no-one should have to bear. You have my deepest sympathy, I know some of the emotions you must have gone through.

    I hope that you do indeed win the Lottery, but please do it a different week to me so I don't have to split the jackpot.
     
  27. Bristol Pete

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    Colin. A sad story. However one thing I would say is that it sounds like your friends decision was made and that nothing would or indeed could have changed his mind or indeed his destiny.

    Pete.
     
  28. The Dude

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    'twas a big car accident for me.....


    I was earning more money than I could possibly spend ( I was single :D ), having what i thought was a great life, and thinking i would never ever die....





    On the way home from work one dark night, that all changed.

    - I've never been the same since.... I've been better in every single way imaginable....


    I've previously battled depression amongst a host of other things.... these days my only battle is getting out of bed when the alarm goes off...


    being alive is so, so good. :thumbsup:
     
  29. Bristol Pete

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    Credit to you mate.

    One thing I note is that we have all learnt from experience which is a good thing. I for one discovered that the relative merriment a decent AV set up can offer means very little when you sit watching movies home alone :D That said I could quite happily enjoy a nice SIM2 1080p PJ and a decent HDMI DVD deck with some lovely M and K speakers right about now :eek: :rotfl:

    Its definately more fun watching movies with other people. I think?......
     
  30. Bristol Pete

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    Sorry to hear that but your strength is admirable :)

    Pete.
     

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