Random Lists, Vol.2

This list is more serious and potentially triggering for readers. I read an article recently from someone who was recounting all the weird criminal experiences that had occurred to or around them in life.

This got me thinking about all of my own unhappy memories and experiences and even criminal or life-threatening things that have happened to or around me and to people I know and care about. I may include some detail as well, while it’s in my mind, so if you don’t feel up for it, Don’t read on.

List of Things I Wish I Could Forget

  • The morning I watched my mother beat my brother with a wooden paddle, then continue hitting him with the back of her slipper after the paddle broke.
  • The day my stepfather threw my brother down the hallway in anger.
  • The morning my brother and I were using our dolls and stuffed animals to enact Romeo and Juliet, and my mother seeing the mess we were making and angrily bagging up all of the toys we were playing with—still playing with, in fact—in trash bags and for the next several hours threatening to throw them all away.
  • The car accident when a woman crossed the highway in the dark and bounced off the hood of my dad’s car before rolling into the gutter (she was fine, drunk and angry, but I was in the backseat and hysterical).
  • My stepfather molesting me while I slept, my mother choosing to defend him rather than me, and my grandparents rejecting me afterward.
  • The guy who ran up behind me as I walked into a side door at my high school and grabbed my crotch from behind before running away.
  • The guy in the old beater car who pulled up alongside me when I was walking home from school alone, pretended to ask directions, then continued driving alongside me shouting obscenities.
  • The night I walked out because I was angry about something my dad had done, and when I returned, the fight we had that included him ripping my phone out of the wall and pulling the wire apart with his bare hands in front of me.
  • The guys in my high school, including some I knew, being called for questioning in the Fast Eddie Savitz case.
  • My high school graduation, which became a Supreme Court case.
  • The robberies at every local branch of the bank I worked at during college except ours, and the night the FBI came to stake out our branch while I was working because they were certain we were next.
  • The girl who was shot and killed on campus by her abusive ex-boyfriend, who also killed himself, and discovering that I’d been in a class with her recently and knew her.
  • Learning about the woman who was raped below the underground speed line train station stairway on a weekday afternoon, roughly about the time that I had been there to catch the train home, and wondering if she was being attacked as I’d walked down the stairs or if I could have been the victim if I’d been there sooner or later.
  • My first panic attack, when I completely dissociated.
  • Being diagnosed with a rare form of miscarriage that was potentially cancerous.
  • Being in my office in DC on September 11, 2001.
  • Being in DC/VA for the sniper shootings and having to zigzag through parking lots to avoid being a target; learning that an FBI agent had been shot at a shopping center I frequented.
  • My car being stolen.
  • A beloved family member dying in a fire, and another being very severely burned. The sight of her in the hospital, bandaged from head to toe, the day after. Her long months of recovery, and helping her with her medicines, lotions, and special pressure suit to help the scarring.
  • Living in the paths of hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne in 2004; having to have our house treated for mold after the walls flooded from the rains that blew into the roof vents.
  • Montezuma’s revenge in Cancun. Ugh.
  • My niece, only a few months older than my son, nearly dying of cancer before entering a very sudden and late-stage remission.
  • Being drugged while out with a friend, who was also drugged, and trying to get us back to our hotel safely when I was vomiting profusely and could barely see or think straight.
  • A friend’s wallet being stolen at a club in New Orleans where we were dancing and having to spend hours at the police station to file a report.
  • The bank manager I worked with who had been an acquaintance of Casey Anthony.
  • The bank where I worked being robbed three times in 2 months, and being there myself for two of the robberies. Seeing a customer I knew well being held hostage while the teller got the money together. (In the one I wasn’t there for, the robbers jumped the teller line counter.) Being subpoenaed repeatedly for court testimony in the cases but never having to actually testify.
  • My grandmother dying while I was on a camping trip and finding out about it via Facebook at 6am the next morning.
  • Learning that the beloved family member who’d survived the fire now had cancer and needed a bone marrow transplant, for which my ex was the only suitable donor.
  • The accident we passed on the highway that was so recent there were still no emergency vehicles in place, and the badly burned victim who hung from the car window.
  • The midnight robbery at the bank, where the robber broke in through a window but could not access any money except some coins and left with less than $100 in change. Having to clean up the broken glass and uprighted furniture myself in the office the next morning after spending all night on the phone with the managers.
  • Being in an accident on a motorcycle while not wearing a helmet. My designated driver had gotten drunk, and I’d needed a ride home. I don’t remember the accident or the 2 weeks that followed. The years of mental health crises and cognitive issues that followed.
  • My ex-husband moving 1,000 miles away with my son. It was for the best, but it hurt. Bad.
  • Losing an ovary to an ovarian cyst that was so big, my doctor got excited just talking about it.
  • The Christmastime murder-suicide at the apartment building just across from our rented townhouse, and the tarp-covered body that lay on the lawn between our buildings for hours.
  • My second brain injury, courtesy of a tractor-trailer that changed lanes improperly on a crowded highway and knocked me into the median, where my car flipped, bounced off the roof, and spun around as it landed, leaving me upright facing the other direction. The 18 months of PTSD, depression, noise sensitivity, and chronic headaches that followed.
  • The presidency of Donald Trump. The January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic.

Clearly, these run the gamut from things that I experienced directly to things that happened to people I never even knew, but affected me in some way nonetheless. Some are horrible offenses, whereas others are just bad memories. I may have missed some, and I’ve left many off of this list, but these are among the worst or weirdest. There are other things that have happened to friends of mine but are not my story to tell. Seeing it all written out, it doesn’t really look like that much. Certainly my life hasn’t been as bad as others’ lives. I’m healthy, my loved ones are alive and healthy, and I’ve managed to move on without the people who hurt me most. That doesn’t make these any less impactful to me personally, but it helps me put it into perspective.



  1. Wow, that is a long list.I’m sorry for your experiences. Have you spoken to a counselor about this? Praying for you.


    1. AdeleVarens says:

      Thank you Jen. I have spoken to counselors, yes. I hope you’re doing well. ❤


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