What I was told when a mere fifteen is still the most depressing, also most influencing. I had met this girl at a skatepark, she was fourteen, cute as anyone I had ever seen and of course I had the biggest crush on her.

I didn't manage to see past it until she told me ... "When I was twelve, some guy got me pregnant - I couldn't have an abortion legally, so I beat myself in the stomach until it came out." This was in Germany, by the way.

This "saddest thing a woman friend ever told me" comes from a subreddit (in the form of a post, not a comment) that I don't feel comfortable sharing the name of. After having read it I felt a need to share it with others no matter who or where it was. I've heard a surprising number of incredible things: some terribly disgusting, some incredibly touching, some seemingly straight from The Twilight Zone. But I've never heard anyone say anything close to what my friend said.

A woman friend (who I don't know IRL, only from Reddit) said that they felt terribly lonely and that they had no one in their life to touch. Then they said the thing that will stick with me until the day I die: "Sometimes I hold one of my hands with the other and pretend that it's somebody else holding my hand."

When I read that I tried to think how lonely I felt on the loneliest day of my life. I can't remember or feel it. I know there's the whole thing about not playing the "who suffered more" game, but reading what that user said about their loneliness and how far it had gone made all the loneliness I've ever felt feel like an extreme trifle.

I've seen a lot of torn-up inside people on the subreddit. People looking for a way out of their pain, looking for touch in a world that seemed to have none for them, looking for anything that could even slightly resemble a friend, and sometimes just looking for something more. Many people on the subreddit reported feeling that the only way through their pain was out.

When I imagine Hell literally and figuratively I think about lots of things. And now I'll think of this:

"Sometimes I hold one of my hands with the other and pretend that it's somebody else holding my hand."

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