Deranged Family Secrets

September 28, 2023 | Violet Newbury

Deranged Family Secrets


There's this ancient Buddhist saying that goes, “Three things cannot stay hidden—the sun, the moon, and the truth”. It's pretty surprising how accurate that sounds when you see what happened with these people. They stumbled upon some family secrets that had been kept hidden for generations, and it's pretty mind-blowing to hear what they found out. Keep reading to hear the shocking truths that were revealed.


1. What May Not Have Been

When my brother and I were just kids, our mom shared a really heartbreaking secret with us. She told us that before she met our dad, she had been married to someone else. Sadly, her first husband lost his life in Vietnam, or some kind of service-related incident, when she was only 21 years old. It completely shocked us to think that maybe we wouldn't even be here if things had turned out differently. 

It makes sense now why she didn't tell us about this earlier. And those mysterious birthday cards we used to get from "grandma's neighbor"? Well, it turns out they were actually from the mother of her late husband.

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2.  The Flame That Fed The Fire

When I was about seven or eight years old, I accidentally set our backyard on fire while I was messing around with matches and cotton. I didn't have a babysitter that day, and I started a fire in the grass, but I had no way to put it out. In a panic, I called my mom, crying and told her that some "hobos" had thrown lit matches over the fence, and I tried to stop the fire.

At the time, it seemed like they believed my story. Our neighbors gossiped about it, but eventually, everything settled down. What I recently discovered, after 22 years, is that they all knew I was the one who had caused the fire. The firefighters knew, the neighbors knew, and even my parents knew, but they all kept it a secret and turned it into a private inside joke among themselves.

The night I finally gathered the courage to confess, thinking it was a big deal, they all burst into laughter because they had known the truth all along and had been quietly chuckling about it for years.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedFlickr, theirhistory

3. Something Was Bugging Me

When I was a kid, we had a persistent cockroach problem in our house. We tried using traps and sprays, but we could never figure out where these pests were coming from. As time went on, my parents decided it was time for me to get a new mattress for my waterbed. We drained the waterbed, and my dad lifted the mattress, only to make a shocking and horrifying discovery.

I was in another room at the time, so my parents didn't think I heard, but the nest of cockroaches was right under my waterbed mattress. There was a tiny leak that had created the perfect environment for them to thrive. I overheard my parents talking quietly about how this must have been the reason for my sleep problems and why I had seen cockroaches crawling on me while I slept. It's not something I like to think about too often.

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4. Survival Tactics

The truth about our family's history came to light when my dad made a heartbreaking discovery. It turned out that my grandpa, who hailed from the Czech Republic, had survived the Holocaust. After World War II, he had moved to the United States and raised my dad and his siblings as Christians. My dad had absolutely no clue that his own grandfather was Jewish, let alone a survivor of the Holocaust.

Then, one day, when my dad was in his mid-twenties, he was walking around his college campus when a friend of my grandpa recognized him. That's when the friend revealed our family's hidden past. My grandpa had kept this secret to protect his family and build a successful life in the United States.

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5. Misjudged Mystery

The real reason my aunt returned to our hometown was a lot more dramatic than we initially knew. It wasn't just because she missed us. In reality, she had been briefly abducted by some dangerous individuals she had upset while working as a judge. This person had forcibly held her against her will, delivering an ultimatum: she had 24 hours to leave town or face dire consequences.

I was only about eight years old when this happened, so everyone shielded me from the harsh reality, telling me she came back because she missed being with her family. It wasn't until a decade later when my brother and I were reminiscing about the past that I learned the terrifying truth about what had really transpired.

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6. Conception Deception

My cousin's adoption was a family secret for years because she didn't know she was adopted. I was having a conversation with my dad one day, and I was really surprised that my cousin didn't know about her adoption. During that conversation, my dad accidentally revealed something else that shocked me. He mentioned that my older sister was conceived using donor sperm. After a pause, he dropped another bombshell: I, too, was conceived using a donor.

Interestingly, our two younger siblings were not conceived this way and were completely unexpected arrivals. It turned out that my older sister knew about her conception method, but my mom made both my sister and dad promise not to tell me. I'm not exactly sure why they kept it a secret from me, but they managed to keep it hidden until I was 22 years old.

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7. Nothing To Hold Me Back

My school days were quite a struggle. Back in 4th grade, I was placed in special education classes and went through numerous tests to determine if I had any disabilities. At that time, professionals told my mother that the best they could hope for was that I might finish high school, and I would be lucky if I could complete a training program. It was a pretty discouraging outlook.

But here's the remarkable part: on the day I proudly graduated with honors from a state university, my mother finally shared something with me. She confessed that she had kept this initial assessment a secret all along, from everyone, including me. Her reason was that she didn't want me to feel like my future wasn't entirely my own.

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8. Staking A Claim

My dad's brothers and sisters, along with their families, stopped talking to us after our grandmother passed away. Initially, we were told it was because they were too caught up with work and their own lives to hang out like we used to. If I happened to run into them, I was always the one to initiate greetings and catch up.

Around the time I turned 18, I finally got to know the real reason behind their sudden silence. When my grandmother was seriously ill and on the brink of losing her house, they essentially abandoned her. My dad stepped in, trying to convince his siblings to help save the house and contribute to the medical bills, but they turned their backs on both my grandmother and my dad. Consequently, my dad had to buy the house and restore it himself.

After my grandmother passed away, his siblings shockingly tried to claim a share of her money, even though they hadn't done anything to help her during her final days. To this day, they continue to distance themselves from our family, which includes my dad, mom, sister, and me.

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9. Grandma’s Little Secret

I discovered a family secret when I was in my early 30s, long after my grandfather had passed away. It all came out during the night of his wake, when my grandmother revealed that he had never forgiven the Catholic Church for refusing to marry them because she had already been married once before. I was taken aback and replied, "Wait, what?"

Her response left me even more stunned. She said, "Oh, you didn't know that your papa wasn't your biological grandfather? Well, I guess you just learned something about yourself today." But that wasn't the end of the surprises. Shortly after, I learned through an Ancestry.com DNA test that my grandma's first husband wasn't my biological grandfather either. It turned out that my mother was the result of an affair.

Coincidentally, my biological grandfather and an uncle took the same DNA test and showed up as "closely related." This uncle then reached out to me, thinking he had solved a different family mystery of his own. I decided to ask my mom if she knew anything about this, and when she inquired with my grandma, that's when the truth finally came out. Even my biological grandfather didn't know the real story.

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10. Danke Shame

In the past, my great-aunt made a daring decision that changed her life. She was engaged and on a pre-marriage trip with her fiancé in Germany when she crossed paths with an American serviceman. They fell in love, and she decided to run away with him, leaving her fiancé behind in Germany. She traveled back home alone and broke the news to her family that she had eloped. This decision led to her being cut off from the family, and they never spoke to her again.

As she grew older, she returned home, now penniless, while her children remained in the United States. She wanted to live with her widowed mother, who was surviving on a meager pension. However, in a strange twist of events, no one in the family knows what happened to her after her mother passed away. I learned about this family saga during a gathering where these long-held secrets came to light.

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11. Saved By The Barn

My grandmother had a remarkable and somewhat surprising backstory. She was actually the illegitimate daughter of a state assemblyman, which I initially thought was rather intriguing. However, the story took a more troubling turn when I discovered that her biological father had marked her as deceased on her birth certificate. It seemed he never acknowledged her until her mother and sisters passed on, possibly due to a flu epidemic. Only then did he take her into his home, where she had to work as a maid for him, his less-than-friendly wife, and their children.

However, her life took a positive turn when she attended a barn dance and met my grandfather. This encounter allowed her to leave behind the difficult life she had endured in that household. Despite her challenging youth, she became the sweetest and most generous small-town lady you could imagine. She never talked about her early struggles, and I don't think even her own children knew the full story until she reached her nineties when someone in our extended family got interested in genealogy and uncovered these long-buried secrets.

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12. Switched At Birth

Discovering my true family story was quite a shock. It happened during a heated argument between my parents, fueled by alcohol and intense yelling. In my attempt to calm them down and end the screaming, my dad accidentally let slip. He yelled at me: "Well, why don't you go ask your real mother?" The words were filled with anger and pain, leaving my mom and me to sort things out after he walked away.

That's when my mom revealed the whole truth to me. She explained that my actual birth mother, who I had always believed to be my eldest sister, got pregnant at just 14 years old and gave birth to me. She wasn't ready to raise me, so my grandparents, the people I consider my true mom and dad, adopted me and raised me as their own child.

As the story went, there was a moment when my sister wanted nothing to do with me and actually left me on the doorstep one night to go out. The rest of our family disapproved of my mom taking me in, among other reasons, so we decided to move across the country for a fresh start.

We eventually lost touch with them for reasons unrelated to my adoption. During this time, my "sister" had another child, someone I thought was my nephew but is actually my half-brother. We were raised like brothers, sharing toys and creating intricate storylines with action figures. While I know my birth father's name, I don't really have the desire to meet him. I've heard he had a reputation as a bit of a player, and I've been told I may have more half-brothers scattered around the country.

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13. Endo Wasn’t The End

When my health started deteriorating, I reached out to my mom to inquire about any family history related to uterine issues. Her response was unexpectedly harsh. She snapped back at me, saying something like, "I don't know anyone who's had major pain due to their periods. Maybe it's just you." This was quite hurtful and left me feeling alone in my health struggles.

Not long after, despite my difficulties attending work regularly and the financial challenges that came with it, I was forced to move out of my family home. A year later, I had a revelation through my aunt. She informed me that my mom had endometriosis, and another sister of hers had fibromas. She also shared that an aunt on my dad's side had dealt with numerous problems related to cysts and endometriosis. This information was quite shocking, especially considering that my dad had always looked down on the aunt who shared this information due to her health problems, viewing her as weak and pitiable. It was starting to make sense why nobody had offered me any support.

I decided to confront my parents about this revelation and the lack of support I had received. Their response was dismissive, essentially suggesting that if I needed help so badly, I should turn to my aunts. Later on, I was even forbidden from discussing my health issues in the family home because it would infuriate my dad. I can't fully explain why my parents didn't inform me about our family's health history, and it still fills me with anger and frustration to this day.

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14. The Mistakes Of  Youth

I was the family secret. My biological parents started their family when they were teenagers. By the time my biological mom found out she was pregnant with me, she was 21, and I was their fourth child. Their lives were already filled with financial struggles and substance abuse issues, so they faced a tough decision.

Ultimately, they made the difficult choice to put me up for adoption when I was just a baby. Fortunately, I was adopted by a loving family not far from the city of my birth. It's interesting how life came full circle because I ended up going to college in the same city. During my sophomore year, I decided to embark on a journey to find my biological family.

It turned out that my biological parents had separated shortly after my birth. My biological mom faced ongoing challenges, including periods of incarceration, while my biological dad managed to turn his life around. He got clean and sober, remarried, embraced faith, and built a successful career. He had mentioned me to his new wife when they first met but hadn't disclosed my existence to any of his other children. My siblings didn't know I existed.

Thanks to the internet, I was able to track down my biological dad's work number and gave him a call. When I started the conversation with, "Hi, this might be really weird, but," he immediately recognized my voice. Apparently, ever since I turned 18, he and his wife had been anxiously waiting for the day when I would reach out. That evening, they gathered my siblings and shared the news about me. It was challenging at first, but now that I'm 25, he and I have developed a strong and meaningful relationship.

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15. They Put Education First

My parents pulled off a surprising deception when I was young by forging my birth certificate and concealing my real birth date until I was a teenager. The reason behind this elaborate ruse was that, when I was approaching kindergarten age, they discovered that I was born just two weeks past the cutoff date to attend kindergarten. The school's requirement was that you had to be born by September 1st, and my birthday fell on September 15th. They believed I was ready for school and didn't want to see me enter kindergarten at almost six years old after another year of preschool.

So, my parents devised a plan. They photocopied my birth certificate, used Wite-Out to cover the "5" in my birthdate of the 15th, made a copy of this altered document, and took it to a family friend who notarized it for a significant sum of money. To their relief, the elementary school had no idea the birth certificate was a fake, and I got to start school early. To keep the secret intact, they began celebrating my birthday on the 1st of September.

I only discovered the truth when I turned 15 and needed my real birth certificate to apply for a driver's license permit. My mom somewhat nonchalantly handed me my paperwork along with the authentic birth certificate and waited for my reaction. It was quite a shock, and even now, 16 years later, I still quietly wish myself a happy birthday on my now "fake" birthdate.

Remarkably, no one at school ever uncovered the deception, and I eventually transitioned to being homeschooled during high school, earning my GED. On a lighter note, I also overheard my mom admit to faking knee surgery when I was 14, which turned out to be a cover for her breast enlargement procedure. She went from a small size to a much larger one. While she tried to keep it a secret, it was one of the worst-kept secrets, and I had some amusement watching her pretend to limp with an Ace bandage on her knee when, in reality, it was her chest that was causing discomfort.

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16. Sacrilegious Secret

My very religious mom had an interesting backstory. She was already three months pregnant when she got married. She never hid the fact, but I didn't piece together the timeline until I was around 20 years old. It happened when she mentioned that it was almost her 22nd anniversary, and I corrected her by saying, "You mean your 23rd," to which she calmly responded, "No, my 22nd."

The conversation between my mom and my grandmother, who was also very religious, must have been quite something. It went along the lines of my grandmother telling her, "No one will want to marry you if you aren't a virgin." However, my mom was already engaged at the time, so that point was somewhat moot. Her mom was upset and didn't speak to her for a while. On the other hand, her dad, who was a Deacon, had a more pragmatic response, saying, "Well, you aren't the first, and you certainly won't be the last, so it is what it is."

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17. The Second Time Around

My dad happens to be my mom's second husband. The first marriage was never a hidden secret, but it somehow faded into obscurity and was never discussed in front of my siblings or me. When I finally put the pieces together and asked my mother about it, she opened up about her past.

She explained that she had married at a young age, following the Asian tradition of arranged marriages. Unfortunately, her in-laws were very strict and placed numerous demands on her, which made her unhappy and desiring more in life than simply being a housewife. Eventually, she made the difficult decision to divorce and started pursuing her dreams, including studying abroad.

It was during her time abroad that she met my dad, and they've been happily married for nearly 21 years now.

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18. Fallen Idol

A family secret from the past came to light when my grandfather's affair with an English woman in 1941, during his time studying in England, was revealed. During this affair, he fathered a daughter with her. However, there was a dark twist. His true character showed when he decided to leave both the woman and their daughter behind and returned home.

It wasn't until 18 years after his passing that my aunt, grandmother, and mother discovered the existence of this daughter when my aunt stumbled upon a photo of her. They reached out to her, and both sides acknowledged their connection to my grandfather. She shared the painful story of how he had left her and her mother without any attempt at contact or support.

This revelation had a profound impact on our family, especially for those who had held my grandfather in high regard. It was indeed a sad discovery that tarnished his image in our eyes.

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19. This Secret Was Buried

My family lied about what happened to my beloved cat when I was around 14 years old. At that time, they told me he had probably run away. Looking back, I was emotionally mature enough to handle the truth. It was only about a month ago that I finally discovered the real story: my cat had been run over by my grandpa, who lived in the house across the street from us. They had quietly buried him in my grandpa's backyard. The truth accidentally came out when my cousin mentioned it while we were discussing my mom getting a new pet.

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20. Two-Sided Tale

The secret that was hidden from me for years was the truth about my biological father. My mother had always portrayed him as a terrible person, telling me false stories like he had attempted to harm us, and her brothers wanted to take action against him. She also painted a picture of him being unable to handle me when I was a child and getting angry with me as I learned to pull myself up on things.

My mother made him out to be a monster for not paying child support and for cutting off contact when he remarried and had more children. Meanwhile, I spent many nights crying because I longed for a real dad, not the person she eventually married, who I despised. I constantly wondered why my letters to my real dad were never answered; little did I know she probably never sent them.

Growing up, I had a massive complex about not being wanted, which was worsened by my mother, who made it clear that she considered me the biggest mistake of her life, a sentiment she still expresses today. She has been the embodiment of a harmful parent. I always wanted to reach out to my dad but was too afraid to do so. Finally, I gathered the courage and reached out to him, which thrilled me. My mother kept prying, trying to find out what we were talking about because she knew she was being exposed.

I had to ask my maternal grandmother a few questions to verify the truth since it contradicted everything I was told while growing up. It was only then that she revealed the whole truth. It turned out that my dad desperately wanted to stay in my life. He had even offered to pay my mother's rent so he could live nearby. He made multiple attempts to contact me and sent me gifts that I never received.

My paternal grandmother played a crucial role in this situation. For some reason, my mother allowed me to stay in contact with her and visit her. There must have been some agreement to keep my father at a distance because he was never mentioned. However, in her will, my paternal grandmother specified a certain amount of money from my father's inheritance was meant for me, which she didn't do for any other grandchildren. She was making one final effort to reunite us.

So, I flew out for my paternal grandmother's funeral and met my dad for the first time. His current wife and my aunt shared with me at every opportunity how much he missed me and how he had desperately wanted me in his life, describing the enormous void he felt without me. They were able to express what we were both too emotional to convey to each other. But then disaster struck. 

My mother should have known something was seriously wrong when the child support and contact abruptly ceased. She should have reached out to find out what was happening, and she probably did. It turns out that my dad was in a tough situation when his then-wife, who was struggling mentally, wanted him to have nothing to do with me. He used a secret account and payphones to maintain some connection with me. He tried hard and went above and beyond.

All of this came to light when I was about 27. Now that I know the truth, it has changed my perspective on many things. However, my deep-seated complex about feeling unwanted still lingers, and it continues to affect my ability to function socially. Interestingly, I now consider my dad's family to be where I truly belong. I wish I could erase my mother and keep the rest of her side of the family.

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21. A Semi-Truth

My wife and I were fondly remembering our childhood pets one day, and as I shared the difficulty of saying goodbye to my beloved dog when he had to be put down, something clicked in her mind. She realized that all of her childhood dogs had supposedly been hit by semis. Typically, the idea of a dog accidentally getting loose and being hit by a semi-truck wouldn't be too far-fetched. However, her family's home during her childhood was situated in the countryside, far down a long gravel road, with the nearest highway quite a distance away.

As an adult, she felt it was time to uncover the truth about what had really happened to her childhood pets, something that a seven-year-old version of herself couldn't handle. But when she mustered the courage to ask her dad, the revelation was far darker than she could have ever imagined. Her dad simply smiled and replied, "Oh, honey, I never lied to you. Your childhood dogs were indeed hit by a semi... a semi-automatic."

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedFreepik,wayhomestudio

22. Spam Of A Lifetime

I discovered that my dad had been married before my mom, and that I had a half-sister when she found me on MySpace. My mom insisted she knew about the previous marriage but not the daughter from it. One day, I received a MySpace message with some personal questions. At first, I thought it was spam and ignored it.

But then, I got another message that seemed genuine, so I paid attention. I politely asked the sender to leave me alone. To my surprise, she responded by suggesting we might be related. I found it a bit amusing, thinking it was all a hoax. The only catch was that this person was clearly of Asian descent, while I was not.

After a few more messages, she asked if she could call me. I thought, "Why not? It might be an interesting diversion at work, and I can see where this charade is going." Little did I know, she had more to share than a mere money request.

During the call, she knew details about me, my brother, my mom, and, most surprisingly, my estranged father, whom I didn't have much contact with. Her voice sounded oddly familiar, but I couldn't place it. As it turned out, my dad had been in the Army overseas, where he met a local woman. They fell in love, he returned to the US with her, they got married, had a child, and eventually divorced. The ex-wife and her daughter then moved back overseas.

After the divorce, my dad met my mom, and their story seemed like déjà vu, leading to the birth of my brother and me. However, my dad never shared anything beyond the fact that he had been married once before. We were completely unaware of our sister's existence due to the divorces, which also kept us apart from our shared paternal family.

My sister eventually came back to the US for school and, after starting her own family, decided to track us down. She used MySpace and Facebook to find us, and she succeeded.

The shock of gaining a sibling during my work break was overwhelming. She also connected me with my paternal grandmother, whom I hadn't had contact with since I was a toddler. On the same day, during the final hours of my work shift, I called the number my sister had given me.

An elderly woman with a southern accent answered, and I introduced myself. Before I could say much else, she exclaimed, "I love you so much. I never stopped thinking about you and your brother, and I always prayed I would get this phone call." This marked the beginning of my relationship with my sister, her extended family, and my paternal grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Despite the vast distances separating us, we shared remarkably similar personality traits, features, and mannerisms.

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23. Tracing The Steps To Her Illness

I used to believe that my mom's youngest sister died of epilepsy at the age of 21, but on New Year’s Eve, my mom shared a different story with my cousin and me. When my aunt was about two and a half years old, she took a fall down a flight of stairs, only hitting the bottom step. The impact left a deep gash across her forehead, stretching from one temple to the other. To close the wound, my grandfather used butterfly tape.

The consequences were disturbing. She didn't seem quite right after the accident, and when she turned 15, the epilepsy began to manifest. Initially, my grandpa suspected she might be using drugs, but that wasn't the case. She was simply dealing with an illness caused by the brain injury from her fall. Additionally, I learned that at some point in her life, she had a child but chose to give the baby up for adoption.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedPixnio, Marko Milivojevic

24. Religious Freedom

I uncovered a fascinating family secret when I was delving into my family history on Google, trying to trace our immigration history for the purpose of claiming Polish nationality and gaining working and residence rights in Europe. It turns out that my now-deceased great-uncle played a significant role in a high-stakes legal case that ultimately reached the Supreme Court and set a precedent. Interestingly, this case even served as inspiration for a plotline in the TV series "The Sopranos."

My great-uncle, an Orthodox Jew living in the United States, had made a binding commitment with his wife. They agreed that in order to obtain a divorce, they must undergo a formal religious ceremony in a synagogue. If they didn't follow this procedure, according to Jewish law, they would remain technically married, and neither of them could remarry.

After being married for 22 years, my great-uncle and his wife decided to divorce through a civil court. However, he refused to proceed with the official religious divorce, leaving his wife in a peculiar state of marital uncertainty. She had met someone new and wished to marry him in a Jewish ceremony but couldn't do so without this religious divorce. Consequently, my great uncle's wife took legal action against him, seeking to compel him to obtain the religious divorce.

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25. Hoping For A Happy Ending

During my grandmother's recent wake, an unfamiliar woman appeared and spent a significant amount of time chatting with my uncle. Now, this particular uncle, who was 62 and had never married, had led me to assume he was gay but not open about it due to our family's dynamics. Naturally, I assumed this woman was just a close friend or acquaintance. However, what I discovered was a heartwarming surprise.

As it turns out, this woman was actually my uncle's first love. They had crossed paths many years ago, and my uncle fell in love with her, wanting to marry her. He had confided in my grandmother about his feelings, but she had forbidden the union because the woman was Jewish, while our family was not. Consequently, they had parted ways. Astonishingly, more than four decades later, they were still close, and neither of them had married.

So, not only did I learn that my uncle was not gay, but I also discovered that he had been holding onto a grudge for all those years. Now, instead of secretly hoping for a boyfriend in his life, I'm rooting for these two to finally find happiness together after all this time.

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26. Third-Party Adoption

I recently discovered that my cousin is adopted, and what's even more surprising is that her "mom" isn't my uncle's first wife. As it turns out, my uncle faced fertility issues and couldn't have biological children, which led to his first wife leaving him. While still a single man in Korea, he decided to adopt his friend's sixth daughter because his friend didn't want another girl in the family. Later on, my uncle married another woman before moving to America. We're all adults now, and this revelation came to light fairly recently during a heated argument when her "step-mom" inadvertently hinted at the fact that she was adopted. It was quite a shocking discovery.

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27. My Family Was Faking It

A few Christmases ago, I accidentally overheard my mom and aunts having a conversation about me. To my surprise, they were discussing how the family perceived me as a problem child who had made significant mistakes. At that time, I was around 23 years old. Until then, I had always thought that my family was incredibly supportive and loving, so it was a shocking revelation to hear that they had this negative opinion of me compared to my seven siblings and cousins.

I couldn't help but wonder if it was because I went through a particularly tough period of depression when I was about 19, or if they had simply set high expectations for my future that I hadn't fulfilled. I'm a reasonably skilled artist and have a good level of intelligence, but I never completed my college education. Perhaps they had hoped I would achieve something more significant by this point in my life.

The thing is, despite not meeting those specific expectations, I am content with my life. I'm in a fulfilling nine-year relationship and have a job that I genuinely enjoy. If that doesn't meet their standards, then that's their issue to deal with. Nevertheless, this revelation did alter my perspective on my family as a whole.

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28. The Truth Was In The Picture

I discovered that my grandma was actually my step-grandma when I was around 14 years old. It happened when I was looking at an old picture of my father as a toddler with his mother and commented, "Hmm, that doesn't look like grandma." It was then that my mother revealed that my dad's mother had passed away when she was in her forties. It surprised me that my dad had never mentioned this fact before.

Although she wasn't blood-related, I never felt like I lacked a grandma in my life. However, I do wish I knew more about my biological grandmother. Unfortunately, my dad has very few memories of her and rarely talks about her, which can be a bit frustrating.

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29. Double Discovery

I've known about my half-brother from my dad since I was five. He's quite a bit older than me, about 15 years my senior, and he's from a time before my parents even met. However, when I was 15, I discovered another deep secret: the possibility of having two more siblings, also from my dad. My mom was the one who revealed this to me.

Apparently, my dad had received a call from a woman he knew a long time ago, well before he met my mom. She informed him that her twins, who were now adults, might actually be my father's children. This revelation opened up a whole new world of half-siblings and other "half-relatives" for my dad. My mom shared this information with me, likely as part of her attempt to paint my father in a negative light, which she used to justify her two-year-long affair.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedWikimedia Commons, Stokes Twins

30. Grandma Almost Got Rid Of Me

My mom faced tremendous pressure to have an abortion when she was pregnant with me. The situation was quite complicated. While she was married to my dad, she had an affair with his best friend after he had a fling with a woman in another state. This affair led to the birth of a sister I had no knowledge of until I turned 20.

Initially, my mom became pregnant by her friend, and my grandmother actually took her to get an abortion. Things appeared to settle down for a while. However, the story took an unexpected turn. My mom disappeared for a period, and when she returned, she was pregnant once again. Even though she had been with my dad all along, my grandmother thought it was the best friend's child.

For my grandmother, this situation became deeply personal, and she was worried about the community's perception of our family. Consequently, she insisted that my mom have an abortion. It was at this point that my dad intervened and decided to claim me as his own child once he learned the truth. He shared all of this with me during a camping trip, and it turned out that my brother had known about it for years, as my mom had confided in him but asked him not to mention it. Thanksgiving dinners at our grandparents' house became incredibly awkward as a result.

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31. Like Looking In A Mirror

At the age of 59, during a visit from my parents, a long-held family secret came to light. My mother struggled to share it, so my dad stepped in and revealed the truth. It was a revelation about my mother's past. When she was just 15 years old, she ran away with an older school teacher, which led to a significant and widely known search for her. Eventually, she returned home, but with an unexpected twist – she was pregnant. The baby girl born from this situation was put up for adoption, and this was a family secret that had been kept hidden for years. I suspect my dad may have known about it all along,

The revelation of my half-sister's existence came about when she managed to find our family. It was truly astonishing. We've connected remarkably well and share many common interests. What's truly uncanny is observing my mother and half-sister side by side – their mannerisms, clothing preferences, hobbies, even certain aspects of their speech, all bear an astonishing resemblance that's hard to put into words.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedFlickr, liz west

32. Lost In Translation

It was quite a shock for me when I found out that my cousin's dad wasn't actually his biological father, and he had no idea about it. The revelation came during a trip to Mexico. While passing through immigration and customs, my aunt entrusted me with my cousin's passport but explicitly told me not to show it to him.

Curiosity got the best of me, and when I glanced at the passport, I noticed that his last name didn't match what I had always believed it to be. I shared this discovery with my sister and other cousins, only to find out they were already aware of it. My mom advised me not to disclose the truth to my cousin, who strongly believes that his current dad is his biological father.

It seems that his mom may have intentionally kept him from learning English to prevent him from discovering the truth. Despite being in his thirties, he still relies on his mother to "translate" his paperwork whenever he needs to open a credit card or bank account.

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33. Dad Got Around

I learned about my dad's infidelity when I was 16, and it was a shocking revelation. It all unfolded late at night when the authorities called our house to inform us that my dad had been taken into custody for soliciting a sex worker. This incident was just the tip of the iceberg as I later discovered that my dad had been cheating on my mom multiple times and even had a secret girlfriend in another state.

Years later, after my mom had passed away, my dad finally confessed to his double life. However, he still maintains his innocence regarding the specific night when he was arrested for solicitation.

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34. Unidentified Family Offspring

I always believed I was the oldest of my three siblings. However, at my grandma's funeral when I turned 30, I encountered a friendly woman who had grown up on the same street as my grandma. She seemed overly affectionate, showering me with compliments. I found her a bit strange and mentioned her to my mom later.

To my surprise, my mom chose that moment to reveal a long-held family secret. She told me that the woman was actually the mother of my older half-sister. It turned out that when my dad and this girl from down the street were just 16 years old, they got involved, and she became pregnant. Both being from Catholic families, they faced a difficult decision and chose to put the baby up for adoption immediately after birth.

This revelation had a profound impact on the woman's life, and she had been trying tirelessly to find her child through adoption websites. She even celebrated her missing daughter's birthday each year. It's a truly astonishing feeling to know that you have an unidentified family member out there, and I hope to someday meet my half-sister.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedFlickr, Adam Cohn

35. It Was A Setup

Several years ago, I learned a shocking family secret. It turns out that in the late 1970s, my grandfather was lured into a setup and tragically killed. The incident occurred on the Lower East Side of the city. The mastermind behind this sinister plan was none other than my aunt's sister.

At the time, my grandfather was involved in running numbers in the bars of the Lower East Side, which meant he often carried a significant amount of money with him. His sister-in-law knew about this and saw an opportunity. The plan was to rob him of the money he had on him. However, the situation took a terrible turn, resulting in my grandfather being fatally stabbed during the altercation. He did manage to defend himself, injuring one of the assailants.

This grim truth about my family's past came to light when my aunt, who had experienced bipolar disorder, decided to share the details during a family gathering about four years ago. It was a shocking revelation that changed the way I saw my family history.

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36. My Cousin Spilled The Beans

Growing up in a large family in an average-sized city, I attended a small private school along with my cousins and nieces who were my age. When I was 13, during a dinner with my nieces and family, one of them dropped a bombshell: I was adopted. It was a shocking revelation, and I felt compelled to confront my parents about it.

I approached my mom, seeking answers. However, she denied the claim, and we never discussed it further. As time went on, I began learning about genetics in my 8th-grade class, which heightened my curiosity about my appearance and family history. A few months later, during a moment when my mom was quite intoxicated, she came into my room and confessed that I was, indeed, adopted.

I was taken aback by this revelation. I had five siblings, and all the family members who could have remembered my adoption had been instructed not to tell me. My parents had originally planned to inform me together when I turned 18. However, it seemed that someone from my extended family, possibly my cousin, who wouldn't have been old enough to recall my adoption, had shared this secret with me. The reasons behind this revelation remained a mystery, and it added a layer of complexity to our family dynamics.

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37.  Russian Revelation

Recently, I learned about a family secret that left me in shock. It all began when my paternal grandfather was released from Siberia around 1953. During his time away, he had lost contact with his family, who had moved to Poland 11 years prior, just before his arrest. In the absence of his family, he met someone else, and they had a daughter together.

However, fate had other plans. Months later, he managed to locate my grandmother. She traveled to Russia to persuade him to leave this other woman and their baby daughter behind and return with her to be with their three children. My grandfather agreed, and he left behind this other family, never to hear from them again.

The astonishing part of this story is that nobody had ever mentioned this secret to any of us until last year. It was dropped casually by my father as an afterthought, like, "Oh, by the way, you might have a half-aunt living somewhere in Russia." The revelation left us all with a lot of unanswered questions and a sense of wonder about the untold stories within our family's history.

Shocking Family Secrets RevealedFlickr, NASA Johnson

38. Filet Of Fishiness

When I was a child, my family and I took a vacation to California, and we stayed at the luxurious Ritz Carlton, which my father's company generously paid for. I must have been around eight or nine years old at the time, and one day, they arranged for me to go on a deep-sea fishing trip. To my excitement, I actually caught a fish!

We brought the fish back to the hotel, and because the Ritz Carlton is known for its exceptional service, they kindly offered to prepare the fish for me. They said they would fillet it and even brought it up to our room through their room service.

Fast forward thirty years, and I discovered the hilarious truth: the fish I had proudly caught wasn't actually the one they prepared for me. Instead, they used a different fish from the hotel's stock. What makes this story amusing is that every few years, I would fondly recall the vacation and how the hotel went above and beyond to prepare my fish, and my family would play along, keeping the tale alive.

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39. Double Dealings

My great-grandfather had a remarkable secret. He led a double life, maintaining two separate families who were completely unaware of each other. Both families resided on the same street, had identical family structures, and even shared the same names among their members. He successfully kept this hidden until his passing, and that's when the truth came to light.

To the astonishment of my "half-family," my relatively well-off great-grandfather left his entire estate to the other family with the same name. This led to ongoing bitterness and resentment on their side, understandably so. For generations, my grandmother had kept this secret, but it eventually surfaced when someone in our family began exploring our ancestry through platforms like Ancestry.com.

This revelation sparked a series of fascinating stories, and eventually, both sides of the family agreed to meet a few years ago. Now, we are in regular contact, slowly rebuilding connections that had been lost for so long.

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40. The Truth Came Out

When I was around 15, I figured out my grandpa was gay. He wasn't supposed to tell us grandkids, but honestly, he wasn't the best at keeping it a secret. I just didn't catch on and took my parents' explanations at face value. Like, he volunteered at a theater, which my parents said was the reason for his collection of flashy costumes.

Turns out, Grandad was into drag. He also worked at a clinic for HIV/AIDS patients, and that's probably why he had books like "Men on Men." I thought maybe those books helped him understand his patients better. And there was this huge eight-foot painting of a buff fireman without a shirt on his bedroom wall. I'm not even sure how I brushed that off.

Then one day, my boyfriend casually said something about my grandpa being gay, and suddenly, everything clicked—the rainbow stickers, the books, the painting. Grandad's been gone for about ten years now, and I wish I'd known him better. He did so many great things for his community, and I only learned about most of them after he passed.

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41. All In The Family

I recently discovered a family secret that left me quite stunned. My grandmother used to be my dad's wife! Here's how it all unfolded: My dad's actual mom passed away when he was 21, and my grandpa stayed single after that. My dad then married Robin, and they had two sons, Jason and Clay. But shortly after Jason's birth, they divorced.

Then, in a twist I never saw coming, my grandpa married Robin, my dad's ex-wife. This family connection was never talked about until my grandpa's funeral. That's when Jason and Clay, my half-brothers, turned up. It was a shocker realizing I had brothers aged 49 and 46. I'm just thankful Robin and my grandpa didn't have kids. Imagine trying to find greeting cards for a brother-uncle or sister-aunt!

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42. Cleaned Out

In the midst of saying our final goodbyes to my grandmother at the hospice, I stumbled upon a shocking secret. The presumed robbery at my grandmother's house wasn’t the work of random thieves. It was actually done by my distant, unstable aunt. We all thought she was in a mental institution. She took everything: jewelry, family heirlooms, cedar trunks filled with hand-stitched quilts, my grandfather's medals, cash, bonds, even the will. She went so far as to swipe toilet paper and light fixtures.

But what really broke my heart was learning that she hoarded all these possessions in her rented apartment. In a manic episode, she covered the whole place in gasoline, ignited it with a Zippo lighter, and laid down in her bed. Thankfully, the fire department managed to rescue her, but not before the fire wreaked havoc. All the valuable trunks meant for each of the kids? Completely ruined.

The fire was so intense it devastated the entire apartment complex of six units. It wasn’t until a Marshall contacted my mom that we realized the depth of our aunt’s actions. Priceless memories and thousands in assets were lost due to her erratic behavior. And the kicker? My grandmother had already written her out of the will years ago because she had once tried to poison her.

I hadn't seen this aunt since I was a little kid, and the reason became clear only later. My older cousin told me about the cash boxes Grandma left us. When I mentioned I never got mine, she wryly remarked, "Well, Aunt Crazy's to blame for that too".

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43. Learning From The Past

Growing up, I was told my dad had a "drinking problem." Both my mom and his family seemed to agree on this narrative. But what I didn’t know was that they were all keeping a much deeper secret from me. My parents separated when I was around six, and not long after, my dad tragically died in a drunk driving accident. The real shocker came when I was about sixteen.

One day, my grandpa (on my mom's side) mentioned something about my dad's addiction, assuming I was already aware. Seeing my horrified expression, he filled in the blanks. He told me about why, as a kid, we suddenly lost our dog, our truck, our TV, and other possessions. A dealer, it turned out, was after my dad for unpaid debts.

The silver lining in all this is the lessons I've drawn from my father's struggles. I've steered clear of the hard stuff and been cautious about alcohol consumption, especially knowing that the propensity for addiction runs deep in our family genes. Being armed with this knowledge has been my shield against going down a similar path.

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44. Sister Swap

I discovered a family secret that really shocked me: one of my aunts was in an arranged marriage. The twist? She wasn't the original bride-to-be. Her sister was meant to marry the guy, but she was strongly against it. So, my grandma somehow convinced my aunt to step in and marry him instead. They eventually settled far away and had children. I rarely saw them because of the distance.

But as I grew older, I learned the unsettling truth. The man was really awful to my aunt. The toll of his behavior was so severe that, even years after his death, she still experienced severe emotional distress.

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45. The Baby In The Cupboard

I learned about a shocking episode from my family’s past. While my mom was pregnant with me, my dad tried to bail on her. He had been embezzling funds from a photography club at work where he served as the treasurer. The misdeed was about to be exposed as the club urgently needed the funds. Panicking, my dad thought his best option was to vanish.

However, fate had other plans. As he was sneaking out, he had the misfortune of bumping into my mom’s brother and father. My grandfather, a robust Scottish coal miner with a no-nonsense demeanor, grabbed my dad by the collar, giving him a clear and fearsome warning. My dad was so terrified that he had an... embarrassing accident right then and there. To save the family's reputation, my grandad paid the club back to keep the embezzlement under wraps, preventing my dad from both job loss and likely jail time.

The betrayal left deep scars. My mom couldn't trust him with finances anymore. Even though they shared a bank account, she limited his access and took charge of their financial responsibilities by creating a separate account for bills. Uncommon for women in rural Scotland at that time, my mom chose to return to work, ensuring she could stand on her own two feet. She resumed her role as a primary school teacher. With no childcare options available, little me would nap in a basket tucked away in the stationery cupboard of her classroom. This unique childhood arrangement became a charming anecdote, and at my mom’s funeral, former colleagues still remembered me as the “baby in the cupboard."

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46. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

My aunt is a renowned scholar and author now, but her childhood was a stark contrast. Up until she was seven, she struggled to articulate words clearly. Though she could read and write just fine, speaking was a challenge for her. Among the many aunts I had, one of them always stood out. However, I also noticed a visible strain between her and my grandmother, her sister-in-law.

I assumed their differences stemmed from clashing personalities, but I recently uncovered a jarring family secret. My grandmother's distaste for her sister-in-law rooted from a heart-wrenching reason. My great-aunt had once strongly advocated for my aunt, the one who struggled with speech, to be institutionalized, assuming she had a cognitive disorder. This revelation was shared with me just last Christmas. Though my great-aunt passed away a decade ago, learning this dark facet of her beliefs was a shocking blow.

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47. Who Knew?

When I was young, I have this vivid memory of my dad reading me "The Grinch". I had been so persistent about it. But as the story went on, he dozed off beside me. The next morning, I was told he was in the hospital. During my visit, I naively asked why he wasn't at home. The horrifying truth about that night was kept from me until my teenage years. It was then that I discovered what had really happened: my dad had overdosed on sleeping pills that night. 

He had been lying unresponsive next to me when my mom discovered him. Thankfully, he pulled through. Yet, the haunting realization that I might have awakened to a tragic scene remains etched in my mind.

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48. She’s Alive!

Growing up, I had an older brother and sister. Being the youngest by a significant margin, I naturally leaned towards my brother for companionship. However, when my sister left for college and it was his turn to leave, something changed. He stopped visiting, and all his photos disappeared from our home. No one spoke of him, and my questions met with silence.

I was left with my own unsettling theories; perhaps he had passed away or worse, met with some dark fate at the hands of my parents. The truth, however, was both shocking and revealing. My brother had transitioned and was now living as my sister. It took years, until I was almost an adult, for my parents to finally share the truth with me.

Although my other sister remains silent on the matter, I'm deeply grateful that my once-brother, now sister, is alive, happy, and flourishing. We share an even stronger bond now. Yet, the hurt lingers. The family's decision to keep me in the dark robbed me of years of support and connection with her. I can't fathom the pain and isolation she might've felt, and it's hard to reconcile that my family, my own parents, contributed to that distance.

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49. The Horror Of It All

A few years ago, my mom shared a disturbing incident involving my dad's friend. But it wasn't until this Christmas that I got the full story directly from my dad. This happened in the 1960s in Mexico when my dad was around 16 years old. He and his friends had some free time between classes, so they decided to visit a friend's house.

This friend came from a wealthy family, and a few months earlier, tragedy had struck. His younger brother had been in a serious car accident, and his parents had taken him to Houston, Texas, for better medical care. With his mom by his brother's side and his dad constantly at work, the house was empty, giving them the space to hang out.

At that age, it was considered cool to sit around, smoke, and drink coffee, so that's exactly what they were doing in the living room. Little did they know, a terrible event was about to unfold. The friend suddenly said, "Wait, let me show you something cool." He disappeared upstairs and returned with a revolver in his hand. Initially, he pointed it playfully at my dad and the others, pulling the trigger. Nothing happened because the gun was empty, which startled them.

However, they quickly realized it was just a joke. But then, he loaded a bullet into the chamber, spun it, closed the gun, and placed it against his own head. He pulled the trigger again, resulting in a terrifying click. But this time, when he pulled back the hammer, the gun discharged with a loud bang. He collapsed behind the couch where they couldn't see him.

When he didn't get up, they peered over the couch and saw the blood. Fortunately, one of the other kids had a mom who worked as a nurse, so he hurried across the street to fetch her. Sadly, by the time she arrived, it was already too late.

The rest of the day was spent with my dad being questioned by the authorities. Thankfully, they eventually released him after confirming that he had no role in the incident other than being present.

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50. His Childhood Was Secret For A Reason

I used to wonder why I only had one grandfather while growing up. I'd ask my dad about his dad, but he'd always avoid the topic. Eventually, I realized it was a sensitive subject for him, so I stopped asking. I assumed my grandfather had passed away, but the truth turned out to be much more heartbreaking.

One day, when my older brother returned home, we had a conversation, and he finally shared the painful story. When my dad was just seven or eight years old, he came back from school, and his father asked him into the living room. There, he expressed his love for my dad and then tragically ended his own life.

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Sources:


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