I'm going to start with the story of how I learned that Santa didn't exist. It's not a happy story, as these types of stories generally aren't, but I'm laughing about it now. And I hope that the people whose stories were compiled into a list of painful revelations on Buzzfeed are laughing too. Or at least have a good therapist.

When I was eight, and a tiny adorable immigrant from Russia, I discovered the Toys 'R Us catalog. Understanding that Santa brought you the toys that you wanted if you were very good, my brother and I spent hours poring over the catalog and dutifully copying down everything we wanted (it wasn't a selective list, I wanted everything) into a letter that our parents told us that they'd send to Santa. When I woke up on New Year's Day (that's when I got my presents) expecting to find a roomful of toys and video games, I found nothing. Under my pillow I discovered an envelope with $20. It was for me and my brother to share. It bore my dad's handwriting. The pictures of me from that day are not pleasant. In one, I am unhappy at lunch; in another, I am side-eyeing my dumb little brother climbing on a rock, not understanding that actually, 20 bucks and a Santa pin are not acceptable presents for being good all year. And even more importantly, that there IS NO SANTA. IT WAS OUR DAD ALL ALONG AND HE DIDN'T EVEN LOVE US ENOUGH TO GET US A SEGA GENESIS AND A NINTENDO AND A BARBIE DREAM HOUSE AND A PORTABLE POOL TABLE AND A MONOPOLY BOARD GAME AND TWISTER. There was nothing to smile about, OKAY?

Buzzfeed's community contributors didn't have it any easier. Here are some of the more awful ways to find out that the person bringing you presents (or not bringing you presents) is a relative and not a magical elf who travels the world in one night.

I put laxatives in the cookies and milk. Found out when my grandpa was on the toilet all day.

Ouch. For everyone.

My dad's secretary called me when I was 10 to have me clarify my list to Santa because my handwriting was messy. That pretty much cleared it up right there.

Advertisement

She couldn't have even pretended to be an elf or something? Come on!

My cousin Clark and I were jumping on a trampoline, and I accidentally stepped on his toe (I was only 5, while he was 8). He was crying, so as payback, he looked up at me and screamed, "Santa isn't real!" It was around Christmastime, so it was seasonally appropriate, but I ran to my mom and immediately told her what he said. She tried to explain that he was lying, but I realized Clark was probably right. I'm not sorry I stepped on his toe now.

Clark is probably a mortgage broker now.

My brother, who's 11 years older than me, broke the news to me on Christmas Day after I opened one of my presents. He said, "The Backstreet Boys? No one except Mum would buy that shit for you." He was right.

Advertisement

The truth hurts, but it will set you free?

And here's the most painful one of all because it blends together the harsh reality that Santa is something your parents lied to you about as well as the harsh reality that al children are fucking sociopaths.

When I was in fifth grade, my "friend" (let's call her Jane) and a bunch of other girls found out that I still believed in Santa, so Jane got them to leave me letters "from Santa Claus" in my desk, which I assumed were real. Jane also got them to tell me that they were all secretly Santa's elves, and I believed them, because why would my friends lie to me like that?! This was all great, because when I found out that they were tricking me, I simultaneously got to learn that my friends were all dicks AND Santa Claus wasn't real.

Advertisement

You should have used Jane's real name. Because she's a monster we all need to avoid in our personal lives.

How did you learn that Santa wasn't real and are you still traumatized?

Image via Shutterstock