General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What events have radically altered your life?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (30673points) September 25th, 2010

Many people go through life-changing events and come out with vastly different outlooks on life. Has this happened to you?

I’m talking about life’s huge events.

For me, those events were
Getting sober (the whole world was glad for that one),
Coming out of the closet (since I was married with children at the time, this one rocked the world of many people),
The birth of my children (who isn’t altered by this?),
Being an exchange student in Japan (I had my eyes opened in a way that I couldn’t possibly have imagined and is still difficult to describe), and
Being diagnosed bipolar (I hate mental illness, and I fight to stay “normal” every way I can, but this disease has robbed me of family, home, friends, lovers, jobs, and so much more).

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29 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

9/11 – we moved uptown after that.

Hurricane Katrina – one week of law school, and evacuation. For a while, everything I owned I could carry in two bags. And I found out that my friends were amazing people.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Sophomore year of high school when I came into school one morning and everyone was crying but no one would tell me what was wrong. Eventually I came to find out that one of my best friends had died the night prior in a freak accident. She was only 16.

krose1223's avatar

My first love and my first heart break.
Getting pregnant in highschool.
Having my son. (Obviously like you said)
Stopping the pattern in my life of unhealthy relationships.
Admitting to myself I don’t believe in God.
Moving across the world and becoming the minority… Didn’t change my life so much, but gave me an insight to things I never could have understood without this experience.
Discovering Yoga

Cruiser's avatar

Getting last rites twice
Being in a plane on 9/11
Finding $10,000 counterfeit cash
Falling through the ice
Saving a mans life
My 2 sons
LITS. ;)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Cliched, perhaps, but the birth of my daughter.
Moving to Seattle in ‘76.
Moving to Colorado in ‘94.
Moving back east in ‘98.
Surviving cancer.
And, well, bunches of other stuff.

rangerr's avatar

Being taken away from my birth father’s house.
Getting adopted.
Losing my best friend to suicide this probably altered my life the most.
Discovering love lust, drugs, alcohol and sex.

Seek's avatar

My mother taking us and leaving my father.
Moving in with her new (disabled) boyfriend, who I had to care for while she worked.
Joining the church.
Turning my parents in for abuse and drug use. (made things worse. Srsly.)
Meeting my husband.
The “Last Stand” with my mom in October ‘07.
Leaving the church
The birth of my son.
Realizing I’m an atheist.

janbb's avatar

Brother dying
Being abused
Moving out of childhood home at 14
Hitchiking in Europe
Working with a great therapist
Confronting my abuser
Quitting a toxic job
Traveling with friends in France
Learning I could teach

muppetish's avatar

- Learning how to read (and subsequently, the majority of what I have read.)
– Learning how to write paragraphs.
– Learning that I could live without believing in a god.
– Learning what being “gay” meant in primary school.
– When my father lost his job while I was in high school.
– When a friend of mine passed away in a traffic collision.
– Graduating from high school tenth in my class.
– Discovering I loved my best friend and being loved in return.
– Reciting my poetry at a convention (and finding my mentor along the way.)
– When my best friend’s father passed away.

I feel as though many new events will be added to this in the coming year.

ucme's avatar

The birth of my two gorgeous kids, nothing comes close.
Being knocked over & smashing my head through the windscreen of the car that hit me.
Parents divorcing when I was six.

Jude's avatar

Sexual abuse
Confronting my abuser
Telling the rest of my family about the abuse
Coming out to my family at 21
Losing my family for two years because of it (coming out)
Losing my Mom
Dealing with a family member who struggles with drug dependency
Distancing myself from that family member to save myself

Aster's avatar

Facing the fact that the man I considered flawless, the love and light of my life, a person I was positive would never be unfaithful or abusive, a man who caused me to lose my identity to since I felt he was one of the World’s Greatest Gifts was in fact a lying, cheating, sadistic monster who cared only for himself and had to be suddenly and frighteningly banished from my life. I think I sound naive and childish and redundant saying all of this but leaving did radically alter my life because it turned me into a doubting, suspicious person who questions everything I read and am told by books, tv and friends and causes family members to feel uncomfortable telling me things , knowing I’m questioning what they’re saying. I want to believe what people tell me but I am living with this curse that was thrust upon me . I hate being this way.
And it sickens me to know that, even with how it turned out and damaged me psychologically, I had the most wonderful experiences with him. He created memories for me that are invaluable and hopefully, lasting. But all those years I now believe he was there only because he knew how I felt about him. And that hurts.

ragingloli's avatar

I am proud to report that I had no such event in my 9 year lasting life.

chyna's avatar

Father dying when I was 17.
Boyfriend committing suicide when I was 25 and finding him.

weeveeship's avatar

Crash of 2008
Flash Crash

Cupcake's avatar

my parent’s divorce
finding the Baha’i Faith
being raped
giving birth to my son
leaving my ex-husband
getting married to @fireside

faye's avatar

my father dying when I was 13, my brother when I was 42 and my mom in 2007, giving up on my drunken, dope smoking husband, years later giving up on drunk SO (do I have a sign on my head?), having arthritis worsen to where I can’t work and have daily pain. Through this, though, I have 3 fabulous children, friends and a neighbor who is such a friend. And my son married a great girl so I have another daughter.

Jeruba's avatar

I rather think the biggest changes in my life have been effected by falling in love. More than once, the man in my life was the reason I chose a certain path over another: quitting college, going back to college, declining grad school, moving across the country. Things like that.

Since there’s been only one man in my life for 33 years now, other major changes have come about through becoming a mother, changing jobs, and retiring. Oh, yes, and learning to drive (at age 40) was big.

And let’s not forget the onset of chronic medical conditions. There’s some life-changers for you.

YARNLADY's avatar

The first major change was when my first son was born. Then I lost my first husband.
My second husband and I lived the hippie life for many years, then got into social work, before I lost him too.
Meeting and marrying my third husband ranks way up near the top of the list. When my second son was born, it was yet another life changing milestone.

tranquilsea's avatar

-My baby sister getting into a near fatal car accident that left her severely head injured.
-Getting assaulted
-Meeting my husband and having kids
-Getting wrongfully dismissed from my job

DrasticDreamer's avatar

My best friend’s suicide – above all else in my life, up to now.
Being abandoned by my mother.
Accidentally learning something about someone. (I will not elaborate)
Getting pregnant in my early 20s and having to decide whether or not I would get an abortion.
Seeing my alcoholic father abuse my mother.
My first true love.

perspicacious's avatar

The death of a loved one

rebbel's avatar

My encounter with justice at age sixteen.
First love and first break up.
Overcoming my depression.
Dealing with ADD.
Discovering Greece and its people.
My present lovely girlfriend.

aprilsimnel's avatar

My birth mother’s husband nearly killing me altered the entire course of my life. The abuse was bad enough that I was taken from them. In the short run, no, I wasn’t killed, though I’m sure I would’ve been had I stayed in their custody, but I was sent to live with my bms sister, whom no one suspected was severely mentally ill and emotionally disturbed. In the long run, that was pretty damaging in many, many ways.

On the plus side, I was given lots of tests at 4 and discovered to be very intelligent, so I was placed in special classes that gave me experiences I would not have had due to the lack of money where I grew up. For the mid-to-late-1970s, this was a big deal. And the other thing that absolutely altered my life was being able to read at an early age. I cannot remember a time before I could read. And I read everything I could get my hands on in those days, though in our place, there wasn’t much (Thank you, Dr Reuben?) From my reading, I learned more about the outside world than I got from my guardian or TV, and I wanted to be part of that world, so it drove me to work hard to get out of where I was.

naivete's avatar

The death of my uncle when I was 13. Some people find it hard to believe that it effected me as much as it did. It was my first very real experience with a death that I was not ready for at all (he was 28). I became very reclusive and socially anxious after he died. I think his death intensified my sensitivity to suffering and made me more aware of the world around me (he was killed senselessly).

krose1223's avatar

@aprilsimnel – I don’t mean to turn your situation into a joke but after I read that I couldn’t help but thinking of Matilda. I think it’s great you were able to do that for yourself though and I am glad you came out on top.

TexasDude's avatar

Reading Perks of Being a Wallflower, playing Myst and Riven, being madly in love at a young age, hearing certain people say that they would be dead if it weren’t for my existence, going to college, defending someone’s character day in and day out for a semester, being told I’m a “great man now” by someone I once loved intensely who was never quite proud of me, losing my virginity, studying Sufism….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Postpartum Depression.
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