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These Messed Up Families Take “Dysfunctional” To The Next Level

Penelope Singh

There’s no such thing as a normal family—but some families are more messed up than others. Insane traditions. Secret children. Shocking lies. These families trees are more twisted than we ever imagined. At least they make our weird households look downright ordinary by comparison.


1. Ancient History

My grandpa doesn’t know that his dad’s passing was caused by a driver under the influence. He was only two when his dad passed, and can’t remember any of it. The only thing he said he knew was that he thought it involved a truck. I found the newspaper article about my great-grandfather’s passing when I s

tarted digging into my grandpa’s family tree.

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2. Dark Deeds

My Uncle Joseph is probably a terrifying monster. He was a major suspect for the West Mesa Bone Collector. He has also been convicted of even worse things. One day, Uncle Joseph was just sort of out of the picture and no concrete explanation was given. At the time, I was young enough that I didn’t think to particularly wonder about the details.

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3. Scandalous Great Grandma

Great-grandma ran a “hotel” in the late 1800s near a train depot and army fort in the Oklahoma territory. Turns out it was a cathouse. Great-grandma was a madam! She must have been good at it, because she left a lot of money to my grandma.

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4. Secret Sister

When I was a kid, I knew my grandfather was odd. He’d call me his grandson even when I was wearing a dress and clearly female, but my parents would tell me to ignore it. Then I found out that when my dad was a kid, grandpa had sold my dad’s sister Barbara to someone, and kept my dad and his brother because he didn’t want a girl in the family.

My dad found his sister Barbara around the time I was in middle school, through making some calls and getting access to records. They were reunited, and she’s my favorite aunt now. No one liked grandpa.

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5. Misdiagnosis

I’m not sure how my dad discovered this, but he found out he had a secret older brother, his parents’ oldest child (Ron, if I remember right, named after his dad). When Ron was preschool-aged, my grandparents were told he was mentally disabled. Horrified, they turned him over to the state and never spoke of him again.

Years later, they learned the truth. Word got back to them that the kid was not, in fact, disabled; he had “auditory dyslexia”(now called auditory processing disorder). He grew up to be a fully functioning, independent adult. He refused to have any contact with the family when my dad reached out. I don’t blame him at all.

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6. Turnaround

My uncle met his wife during the time he was using substances pretty heavily. She was an, ahem, “lady of the evening.” They have two kids now and they’re great parents, nobody would ever guess that they have a rather dark past. They haven’t let it visibly affect them at all.

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7. Axe-Grandpa

My grandfather tried to kill my dad with an axe. He literally showed up to his place of work and went looking to cut him down. Somehow, my unprepared dad fought him off with his bare hands. Grandpa escaped—but the nightmare wasn’t over. He came back the next day to finish the job with a pistol, but my dad didn’t show up to work, so my grandfather turned the piece on himself in the parking lot.

I still can’t completely grasp that this story, and the circus of insanity that surrounded it, were real.

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8. Like the Brother Never Even Existed

We never, ever talk about my brother who passed. It’s so strange, growing up I knew I had a brother and I knew he was hit by a car walking home, but I don’t know anything about him aside from that. I’ve seen his pictures, I know what he looked like. I don’t know anything about his personality, his likes or his dislikes, the type of music he listened to. I once found his comics in my mom’s closet when I was younger, but that was about it.

It is almost like it’s just a story and he wasn’t a real person. It wasn’t until my grandfather passed about 11 years ago that my mother and I walked to his grave. She broke down into an inaudible mess, and it really hit me for the first time ever that he was a real person, as crazy as that sounds. I don’t understand that pain of losing a child, but it hurt to see my mom mourn like that, almost as if it had just happened.

The only time since then he was ever mentioned was by my dad a few months ago. Out of my mother, father, and sisters, I’m the tallest. My dad told me how the only one of us who was taller than me was Jimmy, and how he always seemed to keep growing, how he probably would have towered over me. I almost cried. I wish I got to know him.

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9. The Second Eldest Aunt

After my grandad passed, my great aunt told me that he was responsible for their baby sister dying. She said that when he was young, he picked the baby up, but because he was so small, he dropped her and she hit her head. When we went to clear out the house, we found a ton of family documentation.

It turns out the little girl passed from whooping cough. I was like, what? It turns out that my aunt let my grandad go to his grave believing he was responsible a horrible thing. I can just never get my head around why.

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10. Scamming Granny

My family found out with my grandpa passing that my grandma was never married to him. She refused to marry him because her main goal was to live on Social Security and never work a day in her life. She claims she only said they were married when she got pregnant with my aunt because she didn’t want to be seen as an unmarried pregnant lady.

She did end up living off Social Security, but recently the government found out, and now they may sue her. She’s a horrible person who only cares about money, so this is karma.

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11. The Mistress Part 2

My father had this secret mistress and when he passed, she had the nerve to show up at his funeral. It was really terrible, but not as terrible as all the stuff we found out later. It turns out that my dad paid all of his mistress’ bills, including her college bills for when she went back to school in her early 30s.

The college thing really hurt my mom as she always wanted to get an education for herself but there was never money, or so my dad said…

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12. Ignorance is Bliss

I had the best grandpa growing up. Like the typical movie grandpa. He was perfect. He spoiled us like crazy; great corny jokes and he always had crazy silly stories. He always saved the day. Just the best man I knew. After he passed, one of my aunts told me and my little sister he had cheated on my grandma with her own sister multiple times. We never knew.

I wish she never told us.

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13. Sister Swap

I found out that one of my Aunts had an arranged marriage. She wasn’t actually the aunt who was supposed to be in the arranged marriage, but her sister was adamantly against marrying the guy. I guess my grandma somehow persuaded my aunt into replacing her sister’s part of the marriage. My aunt and the guy got married, moved away, and had kids.

They lived far away so I barely ever saw them. Only as I got older did I learn that the dude beat my aunt, to the point where she still had some intense mental breakdowns long after he was gone. I guess her sister was right.

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14. The Other Family

I had a cousin who passed a few years ago. I went to his funeral and was walking around hugging his wife and kids and giving them my condolences when a lady and two teenage boys walked in. Nobody knew who these people were, so of course, my great aunt asked. She claimed to be his wife and the two boys were his sons. Turns out all those week-long work trips he’d been taking weren’t actually work trips.

They were trips to see his OTHER family.

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15. Long-Lost Son

I was the family secret. My biological parents started having kids as teenagers. For context, when my biological mom found out she was pregnant with me, she was 21 and I was their fourth child. They quickly realized they needed to get their act together. They were already struggling financially, had countless drug issues, etc. They decided that they were going to put me up for adoption when I was a baby.

A loving family adopted me quite quickly, and we lived only about an hour’s drive from the city I was born in. Coincidentally, I ended up returning to that same city for college. During my sophomore year, I decided to seek out my biological family. It turns out that my biological parents separated right after I was born. My biological mom is still in and out of the clink to this day, but my biological dad was able to start a new chapter.

He got clean and sober, remarried, started going to church, and built a legitimate career for himself. He told his new wife about me when they first met, but didn’t tell any of his children. My other siblings didn’t know I existed. Thanks to the internet, I ended up tracking down his work number and gave him a call. Later on, he said as soon as I said, “Hi, this might be really weird, but…” he knew it was me.

Apparently, ever since I turned 18, he and his wife were waiting anxiously for me to resurface. They knew the day would come eventually. That evening, they sat my siblings down and told them about me. It was difficult at first, but now I’m 25 and he and I have a pretty solid relationship.

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16. How’s It Hanging?

We had one family towel. The towel rack was where we’d hang the towel. It wasn’t designated to anyone in particular, and every few days we’d just replace the dirty towel with a clean one. A friend visited our house, and she very politely asked why we used the same towel. It never occurred to me it was weird.

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17. Unknown Twins

My dad was discharged from the Armed Forces for going AWOL. He had found out his ex from when he was around 15 had had his children back then and had never told him about it. I have two siblings who are twins. I don’t know their names or what they look like, but they’re out there somewhere, and they’re only three years older than me.

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18. Dark Secret

I always thought that my paternal grandfather, from Denmark, was one of three boys born to my great-grandparents. However, I found out that there was a fourth brother that no one would talk about. Eventually, I learned the chilling reason why. It turns out that in WWII, his own men found out he was actually a German sympathizer who’d been trying to act as an agent provocateur. They shot him.

He woke up one day, was greeted with an armed escort, taken out to a tree line, and shot until they ran out of ammo. They didn’t bury him or bring his body back. The family got a short letter from the army saying he was KIA, then a family friend who was in the army and in the know sent a letter filling in a few details, just enough so they knew why they weren’t getting a body to bury.

His name was never spoken again until my grandfather was in his 90s and starting to mentally slip away.

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19. Letting the Past Lie

My great aunt and uncle had a baby when they were still in the dating phase. They were in love, and getting married was a sure thing down the line. However, coming from a very conservative society in the Middle East back in the 50s, they had to give the child away to an orphanage. Once that was done, they got married and eventually had four other children.

That first child grew up knowing his origins, but was only allowed minimal contact with his family. He still isn’t invited to family events, and has a family of his own. When my great uncle passed, I was told he was amongst the mourners who came to the cemetery to pay respects, but none of my cousins including myself know what he looks like. My dad and his siblings and cousins all do, but they did not introduce him to us.

It’s sad how he’s punished for something that isn’t his fault.

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20. Great-Grandparent Histories

On my mum’s side, my great-great-grandfather shot his brother’s wife. Apparently it caused a rift in the family, because some relatives believed he did it (he did), and others thought someone else had shot her. I also know that my great-grandmother was in Poland during WWII and came home one day to find her entire family just gone.

They were rounded up and sent to camps while she was out. She survived by working as a maid in Austria. After V-Day, she and some of her family that had survived ended up working on the anti-communist black market selling meat and underwear.

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21. The Godfather

My mom’s cousin passed when I was seven. My mom and him were extremely close, he was even the godfather of my little sister. She took his loss pretty harshly. I was always told he fell asleep at the wheel. What I found out as I got older was that he had been on and off various substances. He took the wrong concoction and ended up passing out at the wheel while driving.

My mom doesn’t like to talk about much understandably. I just found it so shocking that he had this completely different side to himself that no one really knew.

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22. The Journal

My mom passed 15 years ago, but I only found her rehab journal a few months ago. In it, she talked about how she was in love not with my dad, but some guy she met at a gastric bypass support group. I’m not sure if my dad ever read the journal and found out, but him and his husband are living the life now and I’m definitely not going to bring it up.

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23. Jumping to Conclusions

My dad once told me that he had pancreatic cancer. I asked “What stage?” and he said stage three. I was devastated. Later on that day, I saw my brother, who still lives with my dad. He was acting as though nothing was wrong or out of the ordinary. After a while, I bluntly asked him “Dude, why didn’t you tell me that dad had cancer?”

At that point, my brother had the most confused look on his face. Then he explained, and I couldn’t believe it what I was hearing. My brother said: “He doesn’t have cancer. He’s just been on this diet he saw on TV that consists of only rice and vegetables. He’s been eating like 1,000 calories a day for the past few weeks. He then Googled his ‘symptoms’ on WebMD and now thinks he has cancer.”

Yeah, my dad is an idiot. A terminal idiot, to be exact!

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24. The Certificate

I lost my father when I was 10 years old, and I was told he had a heart attack. Fast forward eight years; I was applying for a passport and needed parental documents. My mother was out of town so I went through the documents cabinet to get the death certificate. As I read it, I burst into tears. He passed of HIV. It broke my heart, but my mother has always been kind to me so I decided to not tell her that I knew.

This was ten years ago and she still doesn’t know that I know.

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25. Sitting Down with a Friend

I grew up in a small house of four girls. And, growing up, privacy didn’t exist, and you get used to having conversations with one another while one was on the toilet and the other was in the shower or whatever. People thought we were weird because we sometimes would just hang out and keep each other company.

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26. When Bachelor Parties Get Out Of Hand

My one cool uncle, who came to our house every Christmas and Thanksgiving, was always really great and pleasant. He had a bunch of cats and dogs at his house and got married to my aunt shortly before I was born. One day, my mom and I went to visit him and my aunt at their house, and there was this girl there. I think she was a year older than me, so about 15.

My mom and I asked who the girl was, and my uncle said, “Well…I just found out a few days ago that I have a daughter, so…I guess this is your cousin!” It was crazy, but then we learned the story of how she was born, and my jaw straight-up dropped. It turns out that before my uncle and aunt got married, my uncle had a pretty wild bachelor party in which a prostitute was hired…one thing led to another, and my cousin appeared 15 years later to find her father.

She was so sweet, and my uncle was actually really good about the whole situation. He even started paying child support to my cousin’s mom, his idea. My aunt was also very forgiving. I’ve never met my cousin’s mom.

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27. Why Didn’t He Just Pay The Tickets?

My uncle was in prison for arson and burglary for 15 years, but growing up, I was always told that he was just locked up for “not paying tickets.”

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28. Baby In The Cupboard

My dad tried to run out on my mum while she was pregnant with me, because he’d been embezzling money from a photography club at his workplace (a government institution) where he’d been treasurer. It was all about to come out because the club needed the money, so my dad decided to cut and run. My mother’s brother and father caught him by pure accident as he was leaving the house, and my grandad, a burly Scottish coal miner, got him by the throat and told him if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, he’d be dead.

My dad, according to the story, wet himself right there. My grandad paid the money back to the club so that no one found out, as not only would my dad have lost his job, he’d most likely have been locked up too. My mum could never trust him with money again, and so although they had a joint bank account, she had them limit his access and made a separate account to control the bills etc.

She went back to work so she could always support herself, which in those days, in rural Scotland, was really uncommon. In that area, most women were stay-at-home moms, so there was no such thing as childcare for kids under four. Mum went back to her job as a primary school teacher and I spent the first few years of my life sleeping in a basket in the stationery cupboard in her classroom.

At mum’s funeral, some of her former colleagues were still coming up to me, saying, “Oh, it’s the baby in the cupboard!”

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29. The Cool Down

When we had dinner and you took a bite that was too hot, the rest of the family would blow in your mouth to cool it down. To this day, my brothers and I wonder why our parents let us do this.

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30. The OG Hot Priest

My grandfather had an entirely different last name than we thought, and he was actually a bad boy Catholic priest! After he shacked up with my grandmother and had a bunch of children with her, he just never told the rest of his family. They thought he was living the chaste life. Um, nope.

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31. Rapacious Randy

My family could have been worth millions. My great-grandfather had built a company from the ground up called Johnson Corrugated. They made corrugated cardboard for shipping boxes. Great-grandfather wasn’t very nice, but he did build the family empire, so we still see him in a good way. My grandfather was supposed to inherit the company 30 something years ago…until Uncle Randy happened.

My great-grandmother was still alive after her husband passed, and so she was technically the owner of the company. She was also blind and deaf. Uncle Randy visited her, impersonated my grandfather, and had her sign away the entire company over to him. He gave half of the $15 million to his son, who fled to Europe after threats. Uncle Randy passed within a month after fleeing the family, from cancer. Nobody went to his funeral.

My grandpa is now 80 and can’t retire because he’s been fighting this in court for the past 20 years and owes about $300,000 in fees. I found this out after stumbling onto a stack of documents in my grandpa’s attic. We still don’t know where Randy’s son is, to this day.

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32. The Mistress

I received a phone call from my late husband’s girlfriend the day of his funeral. She was phoning his cell phone which I had turned off while he was in the hospital. She told me that my husband had been paying her rent for the last year. The bank had recently foreclosed on our house. I had no idea he was unfaithful to me, but she knew all about me.

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33. Get a Load of This One

My family has a really gross habit. We talk about the size of our dumps. My sister will call me while on the toilet and tell me about how big her poop is. I realized in college that other people don’t do this too. Fortunately, my roommate found humor in me barging in loudly talking about the size of my dump I just dropped in the toilet.

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34. Pretty Good View

This one, I learned the hard way. My dad would always be walking around in tightie-whities, and it would happen every day. I didn’t realize it was inappropriate until pretty late when much older than I should have been when I visited my dad one time and he had company. My dad gave stared at me and said, “…we have company.” I thought the underwear thing was normal, so I blew it off.

When I was leaving, my dad laughed and asked if “I did it on purpose.” I didn’t know what he was talking about—turned out I’d accidentally flashed everyone.

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35. Bad Nana

My nana always gave me a kind of uneasy feeling when I was around her—and I didn’t adore her or anything, but I definitely thought of her as just a regular old lady up until she was gone. Then, after she passed, my mom confessed to me. My nana used to be a religious zealot, so much so that she would scream at her for hours for having her fly down, or wearing slightly-tight jeans, because she was “inviting the devil” or something.

She would take my mom and her brother into the backyard and force them to brutally beat each other with sticks. And when my mom’s brother lost his life in a car accident, my nana openly mocked him at the funeral, stating he deserved to die (because he drank underage, I think? Not while driving. Just… in general).

She was a monster. My mother had to run away at 18 years old. My nana only “calmed down” when my mom had kids, because she’d wanted “grandbabies” and being the forgiving person my mom was, she let her back into her life, on the promise she never did to us what she’d done to her. My mom may have forgiven her, but I haven’t.

She didn’t really change, on the inside… and looking back I can see just how much my nana’s treatment shaped my mother’s life/mental health for the worse, how she never ended up recovering in the end. Awful. I wish I could tell my mom what I know now about trauma and all that. I wish we could really talk about it now that I’m an adult, but it’s too late for that now.

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36. A New Look He’s Going For

Just the other day, my twelve-year-old little brother posted a shirtless photo of himself on his public Instagram page, along with the caption “Ladies’ Man.” I guess he forgot that I had access to his account and could see whatever he was posting. I have no idea what gave him the idea to do such a thing, but it was both hilarious and kind of scary at the same time…

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37. No Love Lost

My father passed in the fall of ‘09. The day after the funeral while singing his praises, it turns out he completely disowned my siblings and myself in his will. Imagine being three children, paraded around by your uncles, telling stories about the “good times,” to then be told that he didn’t love you and you would receive no financial support. We were devastated.

Our mother was there, as she always has been. She is our rock. At that point, that’s when my sister and I decide to completely cut off our father’s manipulative side of the family.

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38. Let’s Speed This Up

We’d take food from each other’s plate when we would eat at dinner time. Once you had finished eating your plate, you would pick at the slowest person’s plate. For our family, this was usually my mom’s plate. It wasn’t until I reached to take food at my now-wife’s house that I learned nobody one else did this.

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39. An Amazing Woman

My grandmother had a sister who passed in the 60s. She was never married, and she was a nurse in the army in WWII. When my grandmother turned 100, we were looking at old albums together, chatting, and she was telling me old stories. I went up on a chair to get another album for her, and I found a little book at the back of the closet. It had pictures of my father’s aunt in an army aircraft, a fighter plane, and of a few other people. On one page, there were written just a few words: “Yours, for all eternity.”

My Gran absolutely panicked when I was holding that book. She said that nobody had ever seen it, and that she had promised to take it to her grave. She then told me that she believed that her sister had met someone during WWII (man or woman, we don’t know), and that he or she lost their life. My aunt decided that she would never fall in love again.

I never told anyone before a few weeks ago, when my father asked if there was anything missing from Gran’s house that I would have wanted. The book has gone, because nobody thought it was important when the house was cleaned out. And I really think my Gran would have been happy about that. She lived to 102, having survived WWI and II. She’s my hero.

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40. The Gift of Debt

After my father passed a few years ago, we learned that he had taken out about $40k of loans in my name. We share the same initials (and surname obviously). He forged my signature, and kept on applying for loans and credit, got approved and never paid a single dime back. Seeing as he was the main contact, no-one ever called me to ask me why I wasn’t paying my debt… so only after he passed, we got contacted by institutions informing us that my father owes them money, just to find out it was actually on my name…

So now my credit record is screwed due to years of payments not being made and I need to pay back all of these loans. Fun times, right?

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41. Not Moist People

Nobody else that I knew growing up was using baby wipes in the bathroom after going number two at their houses. I mean it’s not like I ever wiped myself in front of everyone, but every friend’s house that I visited with the exception of one friend’s house didn’t even have the option to use baby wipes!

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42. The Patriarch

My grandfather passed last spring. I found out he’d been verbally and sometimes physically abusive to his four sons and to my grandmother their whole marriage. My grandmother had been making plans to leave him with my father and uncles’ help when he fell and broke his back, so she stayed with him until he passed a few months later.

All of this was hidden from myself and the rest of the grandkids. My mom quietly told me a few days after the funeral. I’m concerned she only told me because my father may be doing the same to her, but she denied it when I asked.

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43. Dark Father

I was always told that my dad left me when I was born, and technically that’s true, but I was told my dad was someone completely different. I got a little suspicious about the whole thing because my cousin, who apparently didn’t know the whole cover story, told me that my dad had blonde hair and my mother had black hair, and that’s where I got my black hair. Strangely, everyone else told me my dad had black hair.

When I had to use my birth certificate so I could join the Armed Forces, more evidence surfaced, and the mystery deepened: the name of my father said Alexander Smith. My last name is Smith, but my family told me that I got my name from a baby book, so that’s why my last name was different from everyone else’s in my family. I then spent a couple of days doing research on Alexander Smith.

He was born in Russia and changed his name when he got here, and I’m 70% Russian so that makes sense. What really sold it for me was that it said his mother’s name was Natasha Kelovich—which was my grandmother’s name. I confronted my family about it and they revealed that he was my dad, and they told me what had really happened. To put it bluntly: after I was born, he decided he didn’t want any kids, so he tried to smother me in my sleep.

Luckily, my brother and my uncle stopped him, and he fled. They called the authorities, but they didn’t find him fast enough. He returned in the middle of the night and set fire to our house, attacked our family dog, and shot an old lady in the process when the fire jumped to another house. After that, he was sent to prison for life, never saw the outside again.

They said they wanted to keep it a secret so that I didn’t know my dad was a psychopath who tried to kill me. They were planning on telling me through a letter when I joined the Forces, but I figured that out before-hand.

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44. Open to All Types

I once caught my eight-year-old brother looking up the following: “Naked person,” “Naked person with no shirt,” “Naked person pretty,” and, last but not least, my personal favorite, “Naked person ugly.” He’s ten now and doesn’t have any idea that I ever saw any of it. Had I been older and more mature at the time, I probably would have sat him down and talked to him about it, but I was a pretty naive 16-year-old, so I just deleted his browsing history instead.

I still check his history now from time to time though, just in case.

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45. Family Drama

My cousin, only a few months older than me (in her mid-30s), passed tragically in really unexpected circumstances. We weren’t hugely close, but it was a real shock and has really messed up her immediate family. About six months after she passed, I found out that my cop brother had randomly pulled her over and breathalyzed her. She was well over the limit.

She had charges brought against her. This was about a year before she passed. But because she and her family are kind of stuck up and “perfect” (not the type of people to accept that they might be alcoholics), they tried to claim my brother made the reading up because of a (non-existent) family grudge and tried to have him charged with misconduct and fired.

It wasn’t successful but it made his life pretty miserable for a while. Her family don’t know I know, but you can imagine that I’m pretty conflicted over telling them how messed up they are versus recognizing the impact her loss has had on them and not adding to their troubles.

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46. Culture-Shock

We were born and raised in the Philippines. After moving to the US, my mother has always been about “Pinoy pride” and making sure we weren’t “contaminated” by Western culture. She also hates (with a passion) being confused for anything except Filipino. In my late 20s, we found out that we aren’t even Filipino! We’re Japanese.

My mom was hiding the truth because she thought it was embarrassing to admit. That’s why she didn’t mention it when we were kids, and as we grew older, it became more and more awkward to bring up. I think she emphasized Pinoy culture with us so much because she was worried about getting called out. We now greet her with “Konichiwa” to mess with her.

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47. Bad Grandpa

My grandfather took one of his co-workers’ lives when they were installing power poles on roads in Alaska before it was a completed town. He was investigated but they couldn’t prove it. I guess he did it because the guy wouldn’t pay a $5 debt. My grandfather was a horrible human and he got away with everything.

Until he ended up with colon cancer that he didn’t get checked out and he passed of cancer weighing about 78 lbs. Alone.

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48. Back from the Dead

My grandmother had three brothers fight on the Eastern Front in WWII. A fourth brother was 13 years old, and a mandatory member of the Hitler Youth. He was conscripted to fight in Berlin against the Soviets. They gave him a pistol, put him in an apartment building to fight, and a few hours later one of those Soviet rocket trucks came down the street and unloaded rockets.

Seeing this, without firing a shot, he dropped his piece, walked outside and surrendered. 20 years later, after my grandmother’s family had already had a funeral for him, he showed up back in town unexpectedly. Somehow (he has not explained to anyone how he did this) he escaped from a gulag in Kazakhstan and came back to West Germany.

He’s still alive, and he didn’t let the town take up his gravestone. His stone says 1932-1945 because, as he put it, “Werner passed in 1945, the man I am now was born in 1945.”

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49. Online Discovery

While using a certain DNA service, I was contacted through the website by a first cousin. However, I did not recognize this cousin. Turns out, this cousin was put up for adoption at birth years ago by my aunt. My aunt only told my mother, who told me after I started digging to figure out how this person and I were related.

My aunt is horrified that I found out about her child, and now avoids me at all costs at family gatherings. I honestly don’t care that she had a child and put the child up for adoption.

never_mind_its_me

50. The Arsonist

My uncle on my mom’s side went missing around January 7, 2000. When my cousin Adrian went looking for him, he found him in his closet with a belt around his neck. After that, everyone pieced it together based on weird conversations and his behavior, that it was my uncle who had set fire to my family’s apartment’s front door about a week prior, December 30, 1999.

That fire left my family psychologically and physically scarred—and my mother dead. Apparently, my parents were fed up with giving him booze-and-smokes money.

solariportocali

51. The Ally

After my nana passed, I found out that her marriage to my papa was a complete lie. It turns out that she only married my papa and had three kids with him all as a cover story for him being gay. This was during a dark time for LGBT people in America. The kicker is, they really pulled off the married couple routine and I think they were genuinely compatible and happy together.

Brelalanana

52. This One Falls Flat

The first time I realized that my parents might not be that smart was when I saw my father’s Facebook profile for the first time. He had a significant number of posts explaining all about how the earth is flat. It was so bad that my grandfather actually made a shocking request: he told my dad to change his name since my dad was named after him.

MrsNuggs

53. The Hypocrite

I found out that my father (at least in part encouraged by my stepmom) had been fraudulently using my social security number on a variety of loans and credit cards. I’m a junior, so nothing was red-flagged for most of this stuff, apparently. I still am trying to clean up a certain amount of the messes he made, though things have tailed off since he’s been dead for over a decade.

I still struggle with the fact that the man who preached honesty and integrity to me as a child, and who beat the ever-loving heck out of me when I transgressed even slightly, would do something like this. I realized after we lost him that he was both a narcissist and a bit of a sociopath, but still… it’s hard to reconcile at points.

TheOneTrueChuck

54. It Started With a Snowstorm…

When I was around two, my mom’s mom was watching my sisters and I while my parents were at work in the city. For some reason, she refused to let us see our parents after that for any reason, and we ended up staying with her for around half a year. All that time, we had no idea my parents were living a waking nightmare. Turns out our parents had been trapped in the city for two days because of a horrible snowstorm, so my Nanny had gone to the courthouse and claimed they had abandoned us.

She took temporary custody of my sisters and I, and my parents had to wait six months to be deemed “suitable” parents so that we could return.

Bloomie_Boi

55. A Mother’s Greed

My friend’s mom offed her husband. She had taken a $200k life insurance policy out on him six months before he passed, and he passed from not taking his medication that he’d taken no problem all of his life. My buddy was away for the weekend so he wasn’t home when it happened. After his mom passed, we found out even more: She’d taken a life insurance policy out on my buddy at some point too, and she’d also forged his signature to sign over $100k my buddy’s dad had left to him.

She robbed my buddy blind and he had no clue. She took his inheritance from his grandma too that he’d had no clue about and gave a big chunk of it to her friends/his godparents who used it to buy a beach house… She also faked illnesses to get prescription drugs and had little books filled with info on what she’d sold and how much she’d made from selling them.

rebel_nature

56. The Boozer

My grandma (Dad’s mom) was one of my favorite people before she passed when I was 14 years old. She was extremely sweet, generous, and gave good advice. My brother and I stayed with her and were alone with her all the time, and she never mistreated us or in any way acted unusually. I found out only a couple of weeks ago at 33 years old that she was a severe alcoholic who would drink too much almost daily.

My dad said she would beat him and his brothers when they were kids, and as adults would still say severely psychologically damaging taunts while grinning at their faces. I never had even the slightest idea.

RightToConversation

57. Affair With The Mailman

During WWII, my great grandmother had an affair with the mailman while her husband was away at the front and ended up getting pregnant. To save her marriage, she decided to put the child, my grandfather, up for adoption before her husband came home. Nobody ever found out. Somehow (and I have no clue how), she managed to keep it a secret until she close to the end, when she finally told her two daughters, who were born after my grandfather.

Sometime later, in the early 1990s, they hired a private investigator to find their long lost brother. When they found him, they waited in the parking lot for him to get off work, and broke the news to him that they were his sisters. My dad told me he remembered going to a Christmas party with them as a child, but that was about it, they lost contact after that.

I’ve never met them, but the story still fascinates me.

ryannyce

58. Dad’s Secret Life

Before he went into the army, my dad was, um, kind of wild. He was bi and secretly dated men, and he blew thousands of dollars 0n Hustlers-esque nights out. But the biggest revelation was that he had an affair with a married woman who was separated from her husband. When he came back on leave, she had their illegitimate son. He decided not to pursue anything with it since he was young and enlisted, and she had reconciled with her husband.

So, I’ve got a much older half-brother out there.

Shamelessfox

59. Missed Moments

My father talked about how he was there with my mom for her last dying breath. It wasn’t true. My brother-in-law (who was horrible and crazy) was searching for his wife (my sister) because she had been away from the house too long. He called my father in a freak-out-panic trying to figure out where she was, assuming that she was somewhere cheating.

While my father was trying to calm him down, my mother passed. When my father came back to my mother, she was gone. When my brother-in-law passed a few years later, I was surprised that my father didn’t seem that upset. Before my father passed a few years after that, he told me why. I was in my mid-30s.

1116111

60. Getting It All Out

My family scream-stretches in the morning. While you stretch, you breathe in deep as you yawn, then when at your longest with your arms as high above your head as possible, you scream as loud and high as is comfortable letting your stretch push out your scream. It feels so good, but I’d scare my friends.

Grerutin

61. Making a New Friend

A very old friend of mine has a younger brother with some disabilities, mostly mental. When he lived at home with him, around the age of 16, my friend once caught him searching the internet to find someone who would be willing to meet up at their house and explore some bizarre fantasies with him in the bedroom.

He created a profile on a very intense, fringe kind of dating site, and wrote that he was looking for someone to come to the family house and “punish” him. Then, one day, he used part of his own allowance money to pay for a taxi ride for a woman old enough to be his mother to come to their house for this purpose, and she actually showed up. But don’t worry—the story only gets crazier from there.

Unfortunately for him, she arrived exactly as his parents were getting home from wherever they had been that day. This meant that his guest and his parents had to meet each other, which he obviously had never planned on happening in his wildest dreams (or nightmares). He quickly tried to make up a story about her being a housekeeper, but she was firm and direct with her explanation and told his parents exactly what had really been going on. From that point on, he was given absolutely zero internet access, with his brother even going so far as to physically remove all connection ports and components from his computer to prevent potential hotwiring of any kind in the future.

These days, he lives in an adult care home where he still has absolutely no internet access. Believe it or not, there was actually an incident in 2014 where he stole someone’s smartphone, locked himself in a closet, and frantically tried to access that same website again until the battery passed and he was lured back out with food.

MisprintPrince

62. Was There a White Pointy Hat?

After my great aunt passed, we found KKK letterhead stationery and some other paraphernalia that indicated she’d been doing secretarial work for them.

afebk47

63. Video of the Year

I have a six-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl who are both pretty obsessed with YouTube gamers. They often narrate their own playing as though they are performing for subscribers, and my son actually figured out how to post videos to YouTube recently. I did not find this out until they had posted a few already.

When I found the videos, they all had ridiculous titles where one of them had obviously just been repeatedly hitting the next suggested word to come up on the phone. They ended up being called things like, “The ghost of the wealthy, but if they didn’t then deserve.” It would then be a video of something like my foot while I was asleep on the couch, and then you’d hear one of them say, “Foot,” before giggling like mad until the video cut out.

Luthalis

64. The Spy

I went through a nasty break up with my oldest kid’s mom that lasted several years. We were never married and she was crazy as heck, so she told the hospital she didn’t know our kid’s father just so she could have leverage over me. You know, like a sane person does. Years later and after several investigations into her behavior, she lost custody.

Over the next several years, we kept getting oddly specific complaints about things going on in my house and my daughter and her step mom specifically. Dumb stuff like matching clothes or details about how we do time out. Then my mom passed. When we switched her Facebook to memorial mode, I saw that she had been talking bad about me for years to my ex and was essentially spying on me for her and twisting information.

I’m guessing it’s because she felt bad for a mother that lost her kid, but it was still a jerk move. It’s been two years and I still refuse to visit her grave with my siblings; I haven’t shed a tear for her since.

SketchesFromMidgard

65. Found It a Special Time

In my family, the men go “bowling” on Christmas Eve, and the women go “bargain shopping”—but that’s not actually what we were doing. Bowling actually meant bar hopping, and shopping actually meant dumpster diving. The oldest child had to watch the younger cousins overnight, which was always me until I was 15, and they deemed me old enough to go along.

We all suited up in all black clothing armed with long paint rollers to use as hooks to fish in the dumpsters. I found my first computer dumpster diving. We’d wrap the best ones we’d find to add them to the Christmas tree late at night. In a good year, our haul can double the gifts we’d hand out the next day.

And the following morning on Christmas, the men would all be hungover and look awful while the women get all excited about the 12 pack of irregular cut Fruit of the Loom boxers they found for their weird legged husband. Dumpster diving might seem strange or gross, but I think it’s quite a fun tradition we do.

GastonsRottenEgg

66. The Work Incident

I’ve never actually told anyone this. My dad passed about 20 years ago when I was 15 years old. He worked putting in skylight glass for big buildings like malls and stuff. Anyway, according to the details, one of the crates on the forklift was tipping and he tried to stop it; no one came to help and it crushed him. That’s what we kids were told…

It wasn’t until three years ago I found out through a guy Dad worked with that no one was even there on the job but said guy and my dad. They were closing up shop. My dad had been discussing things like suicide with this guy. When the guy turned his back… my dad shot himself in the head. There was no forklift accident. He wasn’t crushed.

The guy made it look that way so we kids would end up with an inheritance and a lump sum payment. I freaking cried for days. Thank you Clark, for setting all that up. You didn’t have to change our lives for the better. But you did.

Starving_Slacker

67. All Sorts of Snacks

I was at my boyfriend’s house, and his parents were making dinner in the kitchen prepping vegetables while we and his brothers hung out in the living room. After a bit, his dad came in with sliced discs of raw potato and handed one to each of us. I was like “Uhh… what am I supposed to do with this exactly?”

And they all went, “Eat it! It’s a snack!” I took a little bite, and it tasted just as starchy and bland and downright odd as I imagined it would. Apparently, they do that every time they have potatoes. I wasn’t even aware that potatoes could be eaten raw. I guess it has something to do with them being Irish.

bumblebeehunnybee

68. Squatting Aunt-Turned-Cultist

I had an uncle who was trying to sell a really nice house of his, and after a year and a half, he called his agent to figure out why it wasn’t selling. It turns out that my aunt had taken all of the For Sale signs down, and had been living in the house the whole time. When confronted about it, she sold off all of the furniture and stripped the house of wiring and pipes before ditching out.

This same aunt hands out business cards with “Reverend Dr.” before her name because she got some certificates online. Now, she owns her own church and all of the church members live on this giant property in Virginia. Sounds like a cult to me.

AlwaysTurning

69. Psycho Granny, Qu’Est-Ce-Que C’est?

When I was about 31 years old, I found out my maternal grandmother, who practically raised me, ended my grandfather’s life. I was doing research trying to build out a family tree and wanted to find out about my grandfather who passed about four years before I was born. We never really talked about him or how he passed. I found an article about his end in 1978 and had found a corresponding report number for an arrest of my grandmother in the same year.

I didn’t immediately put the two together, but once I did, I put in a FOIA request for the case file. Apparently, my grandfather was in ill health, had a few strokes and needed A LOT of assistance; assistance my grandmother grew tired of. One day, he was sitting in his chair and she just snapped and knifed him numerous times, killing him.

She was caught, tried, and eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity. She spent some time in an institution, only to be let out in 1981, the year before I was born, to move in with my family. As she lived in our home, she basically raised me from a child. She was the sweetest lady in the world and this SHOOK me.

When I asked my dad if it was true and how he could let her alone in our home with me as a child, his response was, “Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, you turned out alright.”

LordDumperz

70. This Plan Is a Slam Dunk

My 5-year-old kid really hates the basketball player Steph Curry for some reason. My wife allows the kids to use her iPad and, after she got it back from him one time, she saw that he had searched for the following: “Stef Curry home address,” “Cut off legs,” “How to cut off a person’s legs,” “Stef Curry legs,” “Band-aids for legs cut off.”

He later revealed that he had wanted to try and cut off Steph Curry’s legs in order to prevent him from playing in the NBA Finals. At least he was courteous enough to look into getting him some bandaids!

Shostakovich22

71. Great-Grandpa’s Secrets

When my great-grandma passed last year, we found a photo album she had hidden in a closet. It was full of photos from WWII, and the images were utterly haunting. We don’t know for sure because she never talked about it, but from the photos, it looked like my great-grandpa fought for the Germans and they lived quite the lavish life during WWII. We do know that my great-grandpa was captured in France and when WWII ended, they came to Canada.

Neither of them ever talked about the details. My mom and I tried googling my great-grandpa’s name, although we suspect he changed it when coming over. We found records of his brother who passed in battle but none of him. As someone who loves history, I found it very interesting. For all we know, they could have been forced into joining.

Although my mom feels that they both supported that party just from what she remembers of their personality and the odd comments they would say.

Moosepoop26

72. An Aunt’s Love Story

When I was 14, my aunt passed very suddenly. She was only 37, but she had a lot of health problems (obese, substance issues, alcoholism, etc.) As a family, we tried our best to encourage her to get healthier, but disappointingly, she never listened to us. None the less, she was always happy. Smiling, laughing, and always complimenting me and saying how much she loved our family.

I never understood why someone with such cheer and utter happiness could end up in the situation she was in. While I was spending the night with a distant cousin of mine, we got into a deep conversation about my aunt. We both spoke our feelings, including my confusion for why she had so many problems.

My cousin looked at me with an “oh no, you don’t know?” kind of look. I asked what happened but she hesitated. She asked me to not tell anyone I heard it from her. I said of course and pushed her to tell me. She explained how when my aunt was about 17, her mom (my grandma) had just gotten married to another man.

His brother (let’s call him T) was very close with my aunt. Apparently, they went out to ice cream and looked at fancy cars that he promised to buy her. When my cousin was telling me this, I was confused, because it’s just an uncle and niece type of thing. Why is that so bad? Well, one night, my aunt had to spend the night at T’s house while her parents worked graveyard shifts.

My cousin didn’t exactly know what happened, but it was heavily implied and speculated that they slept together, or even worse, he attacked her. This was because, after that night, my aunt asked to spend the night over and over again. She basically begged to see T every day. T and her parents eventually got tired of it and said that she wasn’t allowed to go over there again.

T never acted the same around her. He ignored her at family events, didn’t take her out anymore, and never brought her up or even talked about her in conversations. After that, my aunt struggled to find a real boyfriend and even tried experimenting with girls. She never knew what real love was, and it was obvious that it bugged her. She had been played with by this tool and left in the dust.

She eventually got a husband and had a kid, my favorite cousin that I love oh so much. But life wasn’t kind to her. And I guess drinking her life away was her way of coping. It hurts to think that she passed thinking that she was nothing but a waste, when in reality, she was a blessing to everyone who came in contact with her.

I wish I could tell her how much I love and appreciate her.

bubblebonez

73. The Siblings

I have nine siblings. We all share the same father. I only knew about seven of them until my dad passed. I found out that two of my “cousins” were actually my brother and sister. My father had cheated on his then-wife with her sister. So those kids were born out of wedlock. When my mother passed, I figured out that my sister (whom I thought we shared the same parents with) was fathered way before they met.

My only full-blood sibling is my twin. I’m only close to him and my sister. The other half-siblings get along well with us but we are not close.

myfriendinsfromYORE

74. The Mother-in-Law

My grandma passed when I was 10 years old. It took a decade but my mother and my other grandma (my mom’s mom) have started opening up for the first time about what a terrible jerk my grandma was. She was apparently the worst mother-in-law for my mom. My mom and dad got married at 21 years old because my mother got unexpectedly pregnant with me.

Apparently, my grandma visited my mother before the wedding and asked her to please not marry my father in church, because if you get married in church, that marriage is before God and you can only do that once. My grandma wanted her son to keep that marriage before God “for when he finds the real love of his life.”

There are many more stories like this about her and I was baffled.

finilain

75. Grandma’s Good Graces

After my mother passed, at the wake, her oldest sister screamed at their father (my grandpa), “It should’ve been you!” Granted, she was grief-stricken and he’d been ill, so she could be forgiven. But then my grandma said something even worse. She went, “Thank God it wasn’t Mary.” Mary is my mom’s second oldest sister, who was the favored child of all my grandma’s other children.

SuperMommyCat

76. Tearing It Up

When we would buy a roasted chicken from Costco, all of my five siblings and parents would just take pieces of chicken with our fingers getting all greasy and gross. We would eat it piece by piece. Along comes my oldest brother’s wife who watched us devouring the chicken like beasts. She never ate with us again.

ImTheMemester

77. Salacious Sisters

My sister appears to have husband-swapped with another couple. Both of the couples in question seem to have children that look like they belong more with the other family. My other sister appears to have a secret, lesbian, side relationship with a woman with whom she’s constantly attending work retreats (when no such work retreats are actually going on).

m4ybe

78. Looking for a Change of Scenery

My mom once decided on a whim that she was going to move to Saudi Arabia for a teaching job. She’s a single woman. She recently ended a lesbian relationship. One of several lesbian relationships. Lesbian relationships that she has posted about on Facebook, where literally everyone can see them. It took multiple family members to convince her that this was not a good idea.

One of the other places she was considering moving around this time was a very small town in rural Alaska, with a population of less than 500 people living in it. This is a woman who has previously broken her leg from walking on a flat surface, and this town was a two-hour flight away from the nearest hospital…

StylishSuidae

79. The Cheater

My sister’s fiancé passed very suddenly and very tragically from a heart attack. She was 20, and he was 23. It turned out that he had an underlying condition. In the months following, she found out he had been cheating on her basically since the start of their three-year relationship. Some women were long term and knew about her, others were just casual one-night stands that probably didn’t know.

She kind of went off the deep end a little, because now she was not only mourning a man she loved; she also had to deal with this fact without being able to ask him for answers. Silver lining though; she ended up dating and marrying one of his good friends. They sort of bonded in the aftermath. He is the best thing that ever happened to her and vice versa.

They will be married for three years this summer.

Stayinschool-tty

80. Past Friends

For this story to work, it’s important that you know my name’s Alice. So when my father passed, I was sitting around at the wake, just kind of thinking to myself out loud. I told my mother, “It sucks that I never got a chance to meet the other Alice.” My mother was like “What are you talking about?” So, I told her that our father, her husband for the past several decades, named all three of his daughters after three of his ex-girlfriends.

All I know about the ex I’m named after is that she had red hair. My sister confirmed this and said she knew about it too. My mother just sat there dumbfounded, but she found it amusing in the end and was not hurt by it at all. It was just my father’s way of being kind to past friends.

vampedvixen

81. A Bloody Strange Thing to Ask

I have no explanation as to what this means or why it was in my 9-year-old son’s Google search history, yet I once accidentally stumbled upon the phrase, “Do girls in England poo blood for a month?” when using a device that we share. It really makes you wonder what the heck goes on in their little minds, doesn’t it?

Chowderhead1

82. Wild Woman

My father found out from an obituary a few years ago that he had an aunt who he never knew existed. He asked my grandmother about it, and she revealed that her parents had put her sister in an institution when she was in her teens (in the 1940s) because she was “too wild” and just NEVER TALKED ABOUT HER AGAIN. Even when he asked her about it, she didn’t want to discuss it with him. Eventually, she gave him that bare minimum, saying only that she was very wild and their father had had her sent away to an institution.

I’ve never been able to find the obituary—but this is a very strange and dark part of our family history.

superstartsky

83. You Kiss Your Mother with That Mouth?

My mom and I have this inside joke where we go, “Don’t talk to me” or “Don’t even look at me” in response to unimportant things. I don’t remember how or when it started, but I’ve been doing it since I was younger. I didn’t realize it was strange until one day when it turned into the most awkward situation ever.

I was at the mall shopping with my mom. When she said that I couldn’t get something that I wanted, I said, “Fine, don’t talk to me then.” A woman who heard got offended. She pulled my mom aside and told her I shouldn’t talk that way to her and I had to learn some respect. My mom explained that it was a joke, but we don’t think she believed her.

SlytherinAhri

84. A Snapshot of His Mind

The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen a family member doing online was when I saw my 15-year-old son using illegal substances on Snapchat. So…not only is my son making lousy life choices, but apparently we’re raising a kid stupid enough to actually create video evidence of it, which is beyond dumb. And it gets even worse! He decided to post the video publicly under “my story.” Sigh…

Pathogen_pocket

85. The Second Life

My grandfather was Polish. He fought in WWII in the Allied forces after escaping to occupied Italy. Later, he came to the UK and met my grandmother, with whom he had an unbelievably troubled relationship, and five kids. He passed when my dad was 14. My dad and his brothers found some old projector films in the attic. One of them changed everything.

It was a slideshow that appeared to depict my grandfather in a suit, next to a woman in a wedding dress, standing at an altar. The guy had been married already, in Poland. We don’t know what happened to his first wife, but now we know why he was estranged from his Polish family.

weedandsteak

86. Paranoid Delusions

I had a brother who had some paranoid delusions (FBI, CIA following him, spying on his apartment, etc.). My brothers and I tried to get him help and he would just have no part of it. After a few years, it seemed like it had gotten better. He stopped bringing it up and we felt like it must have just passed. After he passed, we found his journal and it was just horrifying.

Right up until the night he passed, he detailed everything that “they” were inflicting on him. I can’t go into much detail—it’s hard for me to write about. Briefly, he believed that they were using some type of focused energy beam. They focused on different parts of his body at different times. Every noise that an appliance made was proof of electronic surveillance. Every bump on the wall or person walking in an adjacent apartment was a message from either the “bad” FBI agents or the “good” FBI agents.

It was just incredibly disturbing to read what an awful life he was living inside his mind while acting relatively normal outside.

emejim

87. One More Time!

My family likes to sing the second verse of “Happy Birthday,” and everyone sings as loudly and off-key as humanly possible. No one ever finishes at the same point of the song by the end of this nightmare of a noise. I think it’s really fun, but anyone new to our birthday celebrations has zero idea what’s happening.

gfarrell3625

88. Gang Family

I discovered that my family was taking part in some really bad stuff involving Mexican gangs. I found out when my brother’s dad was found dead the day he got out of prison. My mom was talking to my aunt about it. They were talking in Spanish, but they didn’t know that I was learning the language (we never learned Spanish as my siblings and I grew up, so they would talk in Spanish if they didn’t want us to pick up on what they were saying).

Anyway, after that, my uncle went to where the deed had taken place and, after about a month or so, a couple of other people that our family knew were reported missing or dead. Later, I asked my mom about it, and she said that our family has been part of this shady stuff since before my grandmother even migrated from Mexico.

Suddenly, it all made sense. I always wondered why we would have to move every three to six months, why my uncle and grandma always had respect from countless people I’ve never seen before, and why they were given so many freebies from strangers. People seemed to know me before I’ve ever even heard of them. My siblings and I are not involved anymore, but four of my cousins are.

Emil000

89. Running from Demons

My friend was wealthy and successful; he had it all, and then one day, he told us the awful truth: He had stage 4 cancer. Passed shortly after that. I went to his funeral to find that he had actually taken his family’s entire inheritance, ran away, went AWOL and started a life in our country. That’s when I had met him. I didn’t know about his past.

His elderly parents and sister were distraught upon knowing this dude had married a foreigner and their money was stuck in a lawsuit with no sight of a resolution. It’s tainted my memory of him, I used to think he was a generous dude and kept a low profile because of wealth; now we all know he was running from his own demons.

AsteroidMiner

90. Hypocrite Parents

I ended up going to community college with my extraordinarily anti-drug father and stepmother’s drug dealer, who we will call Andrew. The real kicker is that my stepmother is a drug/alcohol addictions counselor. I only let them know I knew once they had really made me angry; I was a very timid and passive person back then.

I threw out the slow burn one day by calling out, “Oh Andrew ******** says hi!” and then leaving.

bastyra

91. Greasy Grandparents

My grandparents were margarine smugglers in the early 1960s.

Lil-Bugger

92. Double-Life Dads

I was always told that my dad was a mild-mannered internet entrepreneur and that my grandfather was a happy-go-lucky retired used-car salesman. I have literally never in my life seen my dad even so much as raise his voice, and to this day, my grandfather is the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful man I’ve ever met. I was in my early 20s before I found out the truth. It was right after my dad was caught two states over trying to do a six-figure drug deal.

I met my grandpa for lunch to try and help me make sense of this, and he told me everything. My dad was a big-time drug dealer, with clients in five or six major cities. He got into it using my grandpa’s contacts: as it turns out, my grandpa used to break people’s legs and rob stores for the Detroit Mafia in the 60s and 70s.

To this day, we don’t talk about it very much. When my dad got out of prison, we went on pretending like nothing had happened. I brought it up for the first time to my grandpa a few days before Christmas. I had watched The Irishman and started thinking about how my grandpa ran with the Detroit Mafia at the same exact time Hoffa disappeared.

I brought up the movie, and he said he hadn’t seen it yet, so I kind of prodded him. He waved his hand dismissively and said, “I heard the same rumors everyone else heard. I guarantee the only people who know what happened are whoever was there.”

GroundbreakingName1

93. Drug Tragedy

My uncle, who was always very smart and fun and kind, was actually addicted to drugs of some kind. I haven’t seen him since I was a young kid, and I always wondered why. A few years ago, he shot a woman and fled, and is missing now. According to the authorities, while he was high, he was in his car with the window was rolled down, and a woman (most likely a working girl and also high) tried to get into his car through the window for some reason.

He tried to drive off, but she clung on. I’m not sure how she passed, but I assume her hanging onto a moving car was part of it. It’s really sad. He’s a genius, a great artist, and an all-around good guy as far as I remember. He did magic tricks for me and gave me a cool small statue of a fairy and a dragon for my birthday because I told him I liked dragons and I liked my fairy cat toy. I miss him. I hope he’s ok.

ForestFlowered

94. Pilfering Papa

I just found out two years ago that my dad has a younger brother. My nana was a single mother in the mid-60s and put the brother up for adoption. Not long after she gave him up, she met and married my papa, so my dad was raised as an only child. My papa was a safecracker in the 30s/40s (I’m not exactly sure when), and at one point had a cop help him and his friends load a stolen safe into a stolen ice cream truck. My papa had also spent 19 years behind bars.

I always assumed it was because of the safe cracking, but nope—it was so much worse. He was “leaving” the Armed Forces during WWII in the middle of the night, and broke into a lady’s garage to jack a car. The lady caught him and he shot her. He turned his life around during his time behind bars before eventually marrying my nana.

newicca

95. A Night He’ll Forget, But You Never Will

Although it’s kind of the opposite of the way these stories normally go, I once accidentally stumbled upon my dad’s search history. The evening before, he had stayed out late and had a pretty heavy night of drinking, which explains why I found my laptop in the middle of our living room (instead of in my bedroom, where it was usually kept).

Upon locating it, I promptly took a seat and logged myself on, ready to delve directly into whatever rabbit hole my dad had dug for me on there during his bout of intoxication the previous night. I opened the laptop screen and there was my home page. Nothing was out of the ordinary, and nothing new was downloaded. So far, so good.

I then decided to open up Chrome and check the internet browsing history. As I braced myself for impact, I noticed that everything in there was just the stuff that I myself had browsed the day before: Reddit, Facebook, my Gmail inbox, the super weird stuff that I like to look up while I’m bored. All me. No traces of my dad anywhere to be seen.

Now, the meek-willed would have been satisfied with this. But no. This did not explain why the laptop was in the living room. I know for a fact that my dad had used it. I thought of Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, and all the other great innovators of history. All of them went one step further to leave their mark on mankind. I was no different. And like a wave, it suddenly dawned on me what I needed to do.

Open the Safari browser. My dad was known to be a safari user on those rare occasions when he actually used the laptop. So, I opened it up and checked the history. And sure as can be, there it freakin’ was! I’m not going to tell you what I saw in the form of a story. Instead, I’m just going to mimic his actions and show you exactly how his thought process unfolded that night.

Step One: Open up Safari, Step Two: Type in “www.googl.com,” Step Three: Type in “www.google.com,” Step Four: Type in “adult videos” into the search bar, Step Five: Click on the first link that comes up, Step Six: Search up the generic phrase “adult videos” on the adult videos site, Step Seven: Stay on this page for a total of 41 seconds, Step Eight: Close computer and go to sleep.

And that was it. Just like that, I had witnessed the endeavors of a primal man with primal instincts. The man who had once taught me how to walk and talk looked up adult content on the internet and clicked on the first link that came up. The man who once taught me how to shave put the phrase “adult videos” into the search bar of an adult video website.

I learned a lot about my father that day. And I’ll be darned if this story doesn’t come up at his funeral. Here’s to you, pops!

alldayerrdaym8

96. One-Punch Grandpa

One day, I asked my mom why grandpa hadn’t stayed in his hometown and taken over the farm. It turns out that once, when they had had a bunch of local kids over to hang out, grandpa couldn’t find his sister. He went looking for her and went around the corner of the barn—where another guy was attacking her.

Grandpa grabbed the guy, gave him one punch to the head—and the guy didn’t make it. He served 10 months behind bars. After that, he decided to move a whole 10 miles away to another town. The ironic part is that my grandfather’s name is Pleasant! He’s referred to as one-punch grandpa now. This dark secret is not mentioned by the family, but somehow, kinda cool.

sunrein

97. An Onion Farmer’s Story

Growing up, my mom told me that my aunt and uncle didn’t live in our country, and that’s why we never talked with them. The truth was so much more horrifying. My uncle never wanted kids and resented his wife (my aunt) for having my cousin, so he shot her and then himself, leaving my cousin with both of his parents dead in the middle of the night, all by himself.

As crazy as this sounds, my cousin is now an onion farmer out in the middle of nowhere and we only hear from him once or twice a year. It’s very, very sad.

GodOfBeverages

98. Crazy In Love

My great aunt was a nurse at a mental hospital about 100 years ago. She fell in love with a guy who had been committed there by the State. She helped him escape, and they ran off together to another part of the country. Romantic, right? Wrong. It turns out that the guy was a psychopathic killer, and he got extradited back and put in prison.

My aunt, a sweet old soul, lived to be 99 years old, and I never knew anything about her past until decades after she was gone.

p38-lightning

99. She’s Driving Everyone Crazy!

Every Friday, my mother goes grocery shopping. The store is a block away from where she lives and she usually drives there. On this particular day, after she finished shopping, she decided to walk back home. The next morning, she wakes me and my father up in a panic to let us know that her car has been stolen. The authorities come, we fill out all the paperwork, and she gets a rental car for the time being.

That’s not even the best part. The following Friday, she drives again to the grocery market and parks the rental right next to her “stolen” car. Now, her car is a champagne-colored Mitsubishi Diamante—not such a common car or color. Nevertheless, when she sees it, she comments on how similar the car looks to hers, but makes nothing else of it.

A few days later, the authorities call us to let us know that the car is in the grocery store’s parking lot just one block away from our house. Yea, that call was awkward, to say the least. I’ve got plenty of other stories about her, but this is probably the best one.

picklejuice247

100. Man Up

My uncles were complaining about my dad, so I walked into the conversation and told them it wasn’t polite to talk about people behind their backs. My uncle turned to me and said I shouldn’t interrupt when the men are speaking. Completely out of character, I replied, “I don’t see any men in here.” Boy did I get into trouble, but that’s how I knew I won.

kebabish

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


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