Family. They see you at your best and at your worst. And when you're all under the same roof, you're all up in each other's space. Sister's diary? Up and behind the bed frame. Dad's stash of chocolate bars? Behind the motor oil in the workshop. However, no matter how close you are, there are always things that stay hidden. No matter how normal they seem day to day, everyone has a dark secret. These Redditors came together to share what they've kept hidden from their families, and it's positively jaw-dropping. Whether it’s a forbidden affair, a long lost relative, or a chilling double life, these families prove that nothing—and we mean nothing—is ever as it seems.
1. Truth About Their Parents
I love my kids but I've been keeping a horrible secret from them. They know that they're adopted but I haven't told them that they came from a couple of addicts. Even though they all remember their birth mom and dad fondly, they have no idea how horrible they really were and how much they put the kids’ lives in danger. I'm not sure if I can ever tell them that.
2. The Big Sleep
I‘m the child in this story. My dad chose to wait until I was fully grown up to tell me that my mom had secretly given me an excessive amount of sleeping pills on a pretty frequent basis when I was a little child. As if that wasn’t disturbing enough, there was also the chilling reason why she did it. It was so she could leave me alone at home for hours at a time and maintain her secret, adulterous relationship with her lover while my dad was off working in another country.
Hearing about this secret cleared up many questions that I had long wondered about with regards to my childhood. I’m doing well today, and my mom’s actions haven’t affected me in any real long-term way; except for the fact that I don’t remember much about my childhood. On the bright side, at least I didn’t suffer physically or feel any direct pain as a result of what she did.
Being that irresponsible and careless towards her child, she could easily have done something much worse to me if she’d had a reason to. I should mention, though, that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since I was only a few years old. But I’m not sure whether or not this is directly related to what my mom did.
To be honest, I have gotten pretty good at dealing with depression since I have been living with it all my life. So, in a sense, I have actually gotten some small amount of good out of the whole ordeal. Other than this one problem, my life is really good on the whole. So I really can’t complain. I also want to clear up that, despite all that happened, I’m on okay terms with my mom today.
I believe that she was simply young and dumb when this went down and that she has since learned from her mistakes. I forgave her for what she did to me. At the same time, I do not forgive her for what she did to my dad. She did a terrible thing to him. My dad is the greatest person that I’ve ever known and he deserves to be happy.
3. Wanted On The Telephone
The secret that I kept from my parents is that I was working as an operator for an adult phone line back in university. I told everyone I know that I was working the phones for our local department store. One day, my dad innocently asked me whether they were hiring, as he thought he might want to give my alleged job a try. Nope. We were not...
4. So Close, Yet So Far Away
The messed up secret that my spouse and I keep from our children is that we are technically divorced. Years before they came along, my spouse and I decided that things between us were not working out, so we got divorced. We completed the entire process. Then, years later, things in life still weren't working out fantastically for either of us, so we got back together.
We never did get around to getting remarried, though. And we’ve had multiple children in the meantime.
5. Thrown In The Slammer
My mother has no idea that I have been incarcerated twice—but that’s not the worst part. One of those times, I was in there with my father. He has been just as adamant as I have been in refusing to tell her about what happened. I don’t plan on ever letting her find out that we were there. I don’t think she would be too happy about it if she found out...
6. The Truth Finally Comes Out
I’m the child of a parent that hid something horrible from me until I was 27 years old. One day, when my parents had been having some kind of a domestic dispute, my dad decided to call me up just to “get back at my mom.” What he said was so disturbing, it’s unforgettable. He said, “Do you want to know something about your disgusting mother? She slept with over 30 guys during our first two years of marriage!”
I just sat down and started stuttering. He said. “Yeah, you know how people have always said that you looked different than the rest of the kids?” I said, “Yeah...” He said, “That’s because I’m not your dad. Your mom slept with my best friend and that’s how you were conceived. And another thing! Your brother who’s a year younger than you? He belongs to my brother!”
My mom just bawled in tears in the background without denying it. I just laughed it off. And then I immediately went into therapy…
7. The Grandfather Clause
The secret that I don’t tell my kids is that “Grandpa” is not really their grandpa. I didn't find out until I was 30 years old that my dad had adopted me and that my mom had been married to someone else right before I was born. My 15-year-old self was looking at those DNA kits in the store, thinking: "I wonder what surprises it would find!"
Oh, more than you think, sweetie! I'll tell my kids the truth someday. I’m just not exactly sure when the right time will be. Then again, that's exactly what my parents told me when I asked them why they had never told me about it until my biological father reached out to me and blew their secret. I guess time will tell how this one will play out…
8. A Family Man
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I recently got someone pregnant and I'm pretty sure she kept the baby. She never told me officially, so I honestly don’t even know if I have a child. If my parents found out about this, they would be horrified. It would totally go against all of their deeply-held values, not to mention it would shatter their impression of me as a person.
9. Cutting Off Contact
The messed up secret that I keep from my child is that she can't have a relationship with her grandfather because he's a child abuser and I would never trust him. The rest of my family maintains a relationship with him and leans on me hard to open up communication because "family comes first." They are absolutely right, my family does come first.
Which is why my daughter won't ever have to have a relationship with that monster. He has hurt multiple members of my family, and I only found out about it when I was pregnant with my daughter. Without going into too much detail, he also has a mental illness and I've been told that I need to let him have a relationship with my daughter because he's sick and couldn't help what he did. No thanks.
10. I’m Not Who You Think I Am
Sneaking out, bad grades…my secret is a bit different. I routinely pay random escorts to show up to family events as my “girlfriend” so that my parents will stop telling their friends to try and hook me up with their daughters. Every time we have a gathering, a woman shows up with me to meet everyone, and then they always claim to have to leave early. I pay by the hour. It gets the job done, and my parents have no idea that I’m happily single all the while.
11. A Match Made In Heaven, Not!
My daughter knows that her grandparents are currently getting a divorce. However, she does not know that it’s because her grandfather, who is 72 years old, decided to knock up a random 23-year-old girl. We will talk about this reality once she’s older, but for the time being I don’t want to normalize that kind of a relationship for a preadolescent.
The grandfather in question is my father-in-law. He’s definitely not rich, but he’s in fairly impressive shape for a dude pulling Social Security, so he seems to have no problem attracting younger girls when he feels like cheating on his wife. For some background, they live in a small town and the girl is a single mom.
My father-in-law is just an old man who hasn’t experienced much emotional growth since being drafted for service in Vietnam many decades ago. These two individuals would never have ended up together if they were emotionally healthy and didn’t have control issues. I am definitely going to do my best to explain the situation to my daughter someday, but not right now.
She’s only nine years old, and she’s already overwhelmed by the very idea of the divorce. Once she’s older and capable of processing things more fully, then I will explain the full details of the situation to her the next time we decide to talk about it. My husband has already told his dad that our family and his new family will not be getting together for a barbecue any time in the foreseeable future…
12. Pen Pals
When I was 12 years old, I secretly saw some emails on my mom's iPod touch. The emails were very suggestive and were between my mother and another man. I never told my dad that I saw those emails. I wish I did, because it turned out that she was cheating on him. This is the first time I've ever mentioned it to anyone. It feels good to get it off my chest.
13. Fly Me to the Moon
My daughter was conceived at work, on airport property, in the back of a Ford Focus, while we were waiting for a medflight to land. She knows nothing about this, but tells me she wants to be a pilot when she grows up.
14. She Sounds Like Pure Evil
The secret that I keep from my son is that his older half-sister took advantage of him when he was little, and that's the reason why we don't see that part of the family anymore. We’re waiting until we can get access to a psychiatrist for support before we break the news to him. He was only three years old when it happened.
Because of his age at the time, he didn’t understand what was happening. However, he was able to tell us, quite graphically, what she had been doing to him. The sister also admitted it and said she did it because it was funny. She also said that she liked to hurt him. Child Protective Services became involved and investigated both families, but couldn't find anything concrete.
We are planning on telling him what really happened someday because we very strongly believe it is the right thing to do. We don't know what or how much he remembers, and we would much prefer to give him the coping skills now instead of possibly letting him disintegrate into a non-functioning adult with massive problems down the road.
15. Does Not Compute
When I was around 14 years old, I once overheard my parents arguing with one another. My mom was yelling at my dad about some inappropriate adult searches that she had found on their computer’s internet history. But I knew the dark truth It was really me that was going on the computer in their room without permission and watching adult videos. But I chose to keep that a secret and say nothing as they argued.
Needless to say, my silence meant that my mom blamed my dad for the searches. He kept adamantly denying it, and she kept calling him a liar. As a result of this whole ordeal, he had to sleep in the guest bedroom for an entire month after that fight. The secret truth was never revealed, and hopefully, it never will be…
16. Darned If You Do, Darned If You Don’t
My parental secret is that my adopted daughter was conceived as the result of an assault. Experts say that you are supposed to give your adopted children all of their history when they are old enough to understand it, but honestly, if it were me, I would rather just not know. We are considering not ever telling her. It weighs heavy on our hearts.
17. This Is Pretty Dark...
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I don't actually love them. I care about them in the same way that I care for a hurt stranger, but I won't be crying when they pass except for over the stress of handling the funeral arrangements and finding a place for their kid and animals to live in their absence. I know this sounds harsh, but that’s the way I truly feel.
Some explanation is probably needed. Let’s start with the fact that my parents have done some pretty heartless things towards me over the years. They ran up a whole bunch of debts in my name and never helped me out with trying to pay them all off. That is just one example of their reckless and inconsiderate behavior towards me over the years.
Another example is that I was homeless twice in my mid-20s, but they absolutely refused to let me stay with them. At the age of 18, I still didn't have a driver’s license because I was never allowed to borrow their car. Eventually, I saved up and paid for my own lessons. Not that I could afford a car anyway until a few years later.
At the age of 20, I had a job interview at a well-paying company. I asked my parents if they could drive me for an hour to get there or let me drive. They agreed, but then the day of the interview, they never showed up. They also completely wrecked my confidence and self-esteem when I lived with them from the ages of 16 to 22, when they went off on outings almost every weekend while leaving me behind to watch their other kid and their animals.
There is also a lot more to the story that I would prefer not to talk about publicly. Of course, their other kid is technically related to me and would be considered my sibling by most people, but we do not have a good relationship or really much of any relationship to be completely honest. I know that it’s not his fault, but for my own mental health, I can’t bear to associate with anyone who reminds me of my awful parents.
18. Getting His Priorities in Order
I don’t plan on ever telling my son that, when he was very young, his dad briefly left us for another woman. He came back a few months later, and has been good ever since.
19. The Suspension Of His Disbelief
My dad doesn't know that I was suspended from school for an entire semester back in college due to my low grades. He always thought of me as a terrific student and not at all as someone who would spend a lot of time partying and neglecting my studies. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that this happened to me, but it really did.
20. Body Language
My messed up secret is how much I resent the fact that my kids have ruined my body. Seriously, my body is wrecked after giving birth to them. I hate looking at it, and I hate sleeping with my husband because of how much it hurts and how much I just can't stand the thought of him seeing the way I look now versus how I did when we were first married.
I even hate going for a pee, because when I wipe it just feels awful. This is AFTER corrective surgery in that area, by the way. Also, breastfeeding was a nightmare. I really don't like having my nips touched at all. Plus, my darn feet are a size bigger now and I had to get rid of my favorite pair of shoes as a result.
I love my kids deeply and this is obviously not their fault. Some women have easier births, some have more difficult ones. At least I didn't lose my life in childbirth! So yeah, this is not something that affects my relationship with them in any serious way. I love them and they are the best things in my life. This selfish feeling does not get let out. It's just something I secretly feel and that I will always keep to myself.
Except for admitting it to you nice folks on the internet!
21. No Tech Support Needed
The secret that I have kept hidden from my parents is that I actually did know why my laptop wasn't working when I told them that it had suddenly broken and that I needed a new one. I had spilled a fair bit of Jack Daniel's on it during a night of partying, and it has not been working properly ever since. But as far as my parents know, it just failed to turn on one day and there is no logical explanation as to why.
22. The Chicken Or The Egg?
My secret is that my wife is not the biological mother of our twins. We did IVF and their biological mother was an egg donor from a country in South America. My wife carried them and gave birth to them, but has no biological connection to them. We'll have to tell them the truth someday when they're older and capable of grasping everything.
It's a little bit strange, but one looks exactly like I did at their age. The other one looks very much like my brother. They are currently eight and a half years old. My side of the family has always known the truth, even since a time long before the procedure had actually taken place. But for whatever reason, my wife did not want her own family to know about it.
Instead, she decided to tell her family that she was the egg donor and that we did IVF because we were older and needed medical help to get her pregnant. I never understood why she wasn’t upfront with them, but I went along with it anyway because it was what she wanted. I guess sooner or later, the truth will probably come to light.
23. Brothers In Arms
I kept the truth of how I got the giant, noticeable scar on my forearm a secret from my parents and others for close to 15 years. In order to understand the real story, you first need to know that I had an old metal bed frame and one of the posts had snapped off, leaving a pretty good sharp point that was dangerous but also pretty avoidable.
When I was about 16, I got very intoxicated with my older brother one time and we got into a huge fight. He tried to hit me, and in the process of the fight, he accidentally slashed my arm with a sharp blade while I was trying to avoid a punch. We both started freaking out when we saw the damage and the huge bloody gash that we had left on my arm. We rushed to the hospital and I was given 21 stitches for it.
When we got home, we realized that we would both get into huge trouble if our parents found out that we had been drinking. But we had to be able to give some kind of explanation for the giant scar on my arm that had never been there before. So, in the end, we told my mom, grandma, and pretty much all other concerned parties that I had merely fallen next to the bed and accidentally sliced my arm across the open part of the metal post.
And none of them ever doubted that story for a minute!
24. You Are Not The Grandfather
My secret is that Grandpa is not actually my kids’ grandfather. I didn't find out until I was 30 that my dad had adopted me, and that my mom had been married to someone else when I was born.
25. Such A Sad Situation
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I was taken advantage of in our home for years when I was a child by the person that they know I hate the most. If they knew about this, they might finally understand why I hate this person so much. This is also the person that they would probably least suspect of ever doing a thing like that.
I doubt my parents would even believe me if I ever told them about what happened. In fact, my mom once actually walked into the room during one of the times that this was actively happening to me but she did not pick up on what was going on. She held a full, nonchalant conversation with us while it was going on right under her nose.
I was horrified because I was very obviously in danger and yet she was totally oblivious. I didn’t know what to do about it, and I’ve never brought it up to her ever since.
26. Mixed Feelings
I don’t want my son to know that he was an unwanted accident. Even during my pregnancy, I didn’t feel like I wanted a child. I was still so young and had my whole career ahead of me. I wanted to travel the world, finish school, and advance myself in life to the fullest. The last thing I wanted was a major responsibility to prevent me from pursuing my dreams.
After he was born, I had a hard time adjusting and it took me a long time to fall in love with motherhood. I didn’t feel a connection to my son at first and I felt like the worst mother in the world. Now, I can’t stop looking at him or hugging him or crying over him all day long. Years later, I’m now finishing school and I’ve been promoted at my job.
I realized that I can have my life and still be a mother too. I seriously regret ever feeling like I didn’t want my son, because he means so much to me now and there are no words to describe the deep love that I feel for him. Before he was born or conceived, I was diagnosed with a condition that gave me a slim chance of getting pregnant due to the state of my ovaries.
In fairness, I knew I wanted to have a child eventually, but I didn’t want one right at that moment. We were not mentally ready for a child. At least I felt that I wasn’t. I had always intended to have a child later in my life. When we found out that I was pregnant, we considered having the pregnancy terminated. I was scared of everything.
Everything from carrying the baby, to giving birth, to potentially feeling guilt or regret about my decisions. There were a lot of confusing emotions and thoughts that I dealt with during this pregnancy. I finally decided to go through with having the baby. So it was my own “fault” for keeping him. And I definitely don’t regret my decision.
Thankfully, I had the support of my friends and family members all around me both during and after the process. I even had a friend who admitted that she had felt the same way as I did after giving birth to her child. I am so happy with my life right now and thankful that it has turned out the way it has. I never want my son to find out that I ever doubted wanting him.
27. Stepping On The Wrong Toes
The secret that I keep from my parents is that, as a teen, I used to constantly fantasize about ending the life of my verbally and physically abusive stepfather and then ending my own life right after. He treated my mom like garbage and one day he actually punched me in the face for not washing my dirty dishes. This punch left a permanent gash above my eyebrow.
I was really depressed and wanted to end my life anyway, so I thought that I might as well take that jerk with me if I was going to have to go. I always tried to talk myself into finding some way to do it, but I could never actually bring myself to go through with it. The closest that I ever came to doing something was when he was asleep on the couch and my mom was off at work.
I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and just stood over him for a few minutes, contemplating whether I should do it or not. Of course, I never did. Thankfully, he and my mom separated less than a year after that incident. He is now out of our lives completely. My depression has been minimized tremendously since that. And no one ever needs to know how bad things were in my head before.
Seriously though, screw that guy!
28. There’s No Place Like Home
I have been living more than five hours away from my wife and daughter for the past 11 months. Every time I talk to my daughter, she asks me when I am coming home. Well, little does she know I have a big surprise for her. Next Friday, when she and her mom come for what she thinks is just a weekend visit, they are really coming to pick me up for good.
I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finds out. It is going to be one of the greatest moments of my life. I am counting down the days with great excitement. It is all I think about from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I go to sleep at night. The background to this whole story is that I was required to move to a facility in this specific area for a while due to medical-related concerns.
I am a social worker by trade, but I have not been able to work in the field for these past 11 months due to my situation. I have struggled to keep myself sane while being away from everything that I love and care about for such a long time. My wife and I actually got divorced a few years ago and we have since co-parented. However, recently we have decided that we actually should have worked harder on our marriage.
We now want to be together and are giving it another go when I get back home. I call her my wife because I never really stopped thinking of her that way. This experience has taught me so much about life and has changed my entire perspective on the world forever. I know I will definitely cry more than my daughter. It’s overwhelming just to imagine what that moment will be like. It will be a fantastic day that I will never forget for as long as I live.
29. Living On The Edge
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I lived with my girlfriend for more than a year and a half prior to us being married. We lived in a house less than 45 minutes away from where my parents lived, yet they had no idea that we were there. My parents are very conservative both socially and religiously, and they would have likely not attended our wedding had they known about this.
30. Full Circle
My parents are divorced, and they have a big secret that they don’t realize I know. They are both cheating on their current spouses. With each other.
31. Getting The Job Done
My parents have no idea that I left my job with the cable company to sell cars and write up oil changes for almost a year. I was emotionally burnt out from all the nonsense of the corporate world and I just couldn't take it anymore. So, without telling my parents, I tried switching careers. It didn't really pan out as I had hoped, but it did get me away from that trash heap of a company and allowed me to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life and where to go from there.
32. To Tell Or Not To Tell?
My daughter is adopted and she knows it—but she doesn’t know the chilling reason why. She was conceived as a result of a violent attack on her biological mother. Experts say that you are supposed to give your adopted children all of their history when they are old enough to handle it, but honestly, if it were me, I would rather just not know about a thing like that.
We are strongly considering not ever telling her. The question of what to do weighs very heavily on our hearts practically all of the time. She's 15 years old right now, almost 16. She knows that she is adopted, and is even in contact with her birth mother. But her birth mother does not think she should know her true history either.
The compelling argument in favor of telling her is that it is not our right to decide whether or not she should be allowed to know her own history. After all, it's her own personal history and her right to know both the good and the bad. But at the same time, it is so hard for us to fathom the idea of having to tell her about this horrific reality.
33. A Strong, Independent Woman
It may seem weird to some people, but I prefer to keep it secret. My parents don’t know that I work out regularly. Pretty hard and heavy, too. My mom thinks that muscles on girls are gross, and for the years that she knew I worked out she treated me like I was gross too. It was heartbreaking for me. So now I pretend that I lost all interest in lifting weights and that I'm much happier this way.
The true fact is that I gave it up for about two months and couldn't stand life without it. It's sad that I can't keep my own mother in the loop about my most loved passion, but I've accepted it as just the way things are. In the grand scheme of things, this is far from the worst secret I could have had from my parents!
34. Last Minute Decision
The secret that I’ve kept from my son is that his mom and I drove all the way to the abortion clinic before he was born, but we backed out at the very last possible second. Our plan was to end this pregnancy, as we had done the previous time my wife had gotten pregnant. Son, you will never know about this and I love you. I am so thankful that we changed our minds before it was too late.
35. Some Unsavoury Characters In The Family
I’m not the parent in this story, I’m the child. But this secret is so messed up that it needs to be shared. My family kept it a secret from me for years that my brother has harmed multiple children—and that’s not all. On at least one occasion my grandpa has taken advantage of my mother and threatened to kill us grandkids. I found out after my brother tried to attack me and I told my older sister about it.
She immediately told me about the rest, and about the fact that our parents secretly knew all about it. We were raised having a relationship with both of them as if they were just normal human beings and no different than the rest of the family. It’s absolutely disgusting.
36. The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
On my 18th birthday, my father walked into my room with a bag of weed and a bunch of rolling papers. I was shocked. When he realized that I had caught him red-handed and that there was no sense denying what he was up to, he showed me something that blew my mind. It was an entire hidden portion of our house that he had kept a secret from me for my entire life.
This was not on the blueprints or anything like that, it was a literal, physical hidden room accessed through a discreet door that none of us had ever noticed. He had been using that hidden room to grow his own weed for as long as we had been living in that house. This was even more of a shock to me than my initial discovery.
I had never had even the slightest suspicion that my dad smoked, let alone grew it in our house! By that point in my life, I had gotten grounded for lighting up several times over the years. This was in Florida in the mid-1990s. Needless to say, discovering his secrets changed the entire nature of the way I view my dad.
37. Multi-Generational Trauma
I’m the child in this scenario. I discovered my parents’ secret against their will. It turns out that, back in the day, my grandma was so mad at my mom for dating young and getting pregnant that she caused her to lose her first two pregnancies. My grandma made my mom’s brothers beat her until she suffered miscarriages. It hurts my heart just to think about it.
My mom was an only child and this took place in Albania at the time. My grandma is a lovely person now, and it’s a shame that she was so terrible towards my mom during her adolescence. I believe that my mom suffers from some form of bipolar disorder or PTSD as a result of her childhood, and she has subsequently mistreated my brothers and me.
It felt like I was like constantly walking on eggshells for my whole childhood. Anything I did wrong ended up resulting in me being hit. One of my brothers was the worst to me. He would choke me out all the time for things as ridiculous as beating him at video games. My mom and dad were usually out working all day to support us and so they never really intervened in anything that happened.
Even when they noticed me harming myself and becoming chronically depressed, I got punished and beaten because my life in comparison to the ones they grew up with was “nothing to complain about.” It took me a year in therapy to come to terms with the idea that I shouldn’t devalue my pain just because my parents had been through worse.
After some time, healing, and forgiving, we’re all okay with one another now. I do still avoid my brother a bunch, though. My anxieties and PTSD had become a little too much for me to handle after living with them for twenty years, so I moved across the country. Despite all the troubles that my family has been through, time really did heal most of the wounds and we all do love each other.
There's more respect between us now than there has ever been at any time before. My mom had her first pregnancy at 16, then her next at 18, then gave birth to me at 21. She understandably feels like she lost most of her childhood to being tormented and then raising her kids. I even forgive my grandma for what she did, as horrific as it was.
I understand that my mom's story is painful, but they have a healthy relationship today. They love each other, my mom is supporting my grandma financially, and all of the bad stuff happened more than 30 years ago, so it’s well behind them now. My grandma was an amazing guardian to me growing up and often saved me from my mom and brother’s tormenting.
38. Not My Cup Of Tea
The messed up secret that I keep from my daughter is how grossed out by her I was when I first adopted her. When she was just six weeks old, I was changing her diaper on one occasion and I was not yet used to the unpleasantness of doing so. I was gagging and just trying to get through it, but this time was particularly challenging.
I had been through this whole ordeal several times before and thought the gagging was just my body making a threat, but that it would never dare follow through. I was wrong. Just as I was trying to finish the cleanup, a nice little liquid squirt was unleashed right onto my arm and it finally pushed me over the edge of what my body could tolerate.
Not wanting to vomit on my kid, I turned my head to the side and puked all over the ground. Of course, one of my hands was holding two little legs and the other hand was holding the wipes, so I could not try catching it or preventing a huge mess from being made. But then I looked down and saw things were so much worse than I had realized…
Guess who happened to have been standing right below me, directly in the line of fire, just casually milling about while I was puking? My pet cat, that's who! This happened soon after we had just brought this cat home as a pet, and this was certainly not the welcome I had envisioned giving him! On the bright side, we are all one big, happy family today.
And what my daughter doesn’t know won’t hurt her!
39. A Tragic Experience
From the age of ten until I was 14, I was “best friends” with a man who had said he was also 14. In reality, he had been saying that for three years on the internet. It was very far from true. He emotionally manipulated me to stay at home, talk to him online all day, and to falsely tell my parents that I was writing. I actually do write in my free time, so my parents never doubted the excuse.
My parents completely drank up the lies and I was never free from this person’s manipulation. When holidays came around, I wouldn’t go out with my friends. I would stay at home and talk to him all day. Eventually, he began to pressure me to send him intimate pictures of myself. I finally broke down and gave in when he threatened to find me and beat me up.
He knew where I went to school and where I lived. After that, he stopped talking to me for a few months because I was “too fat and needed to lose some weight.” I was a tubby child, but I felt disgusting and started to hate myself after he said that. I fell into an eating disorder and almost lost my life. I was sent into therapy a year or so later to help recover from the disorder.
I’m recovered from anorexia now, but my therapist was trying to figure out the root cause for it back in May. My mum was in the room with me, and I finally broke down and told them everything. I had kept it a secret from her for my entire adult life, but I couldn’t hold back anymore. We immediately went to the authorities, but I’ve never heard from the guy since and we were unable to track him down.
It still scares me to think about him. Even all these years later, it still feels like a fresh wound every time I think about it. Thankfully, though, I can honestly say that I’m doing better than ever now. I can balance my writing with my social life and everything is going great for me! I regret having kept this secret from my parents for so long. They probably could have saved me a lot of pain if they had known what I was dealing with.
40. Protecting Her Innocence
My sister's oldest child doesn't know that her younger sister, whom she loved with all her heart, was kidnapped, attacked, and then killed. She believes that her sister passed on in a car accident.
41. Story Time
I would never be able to live it down if they knew. The secret that I keep from my parents is that I’ve been writing explicit fan fiction since I was 16 years old. I have no idea what they think I have been giggling about for the last 10 years whenever I’m on my laptop, but I’m glad they don’t know the truth. Some of it is pretty darn explicit and embarrassing.
42. Mommy, Where Did I Come From?
My son has no idea that he was conceived during a non-consensual relationship. He just thinks that I had really low standards in men at one point, and that this is why he is not allowed to meet his father. If he ever found out the truth, it would completely break my heart. He is such an incredible person and I would not want anything to hurt his self-esteem.
43. A Horrifying Prognosis
A colleague of mine has a friend who hid from her eight-year-old daughter the fact that she would only be alive for a few years because of a terminal illness that she was born with. It was medically impossible for the child to have made it to adulthood. I don’t envy the parents in that situation. I have no idea what I would do if I were in their shoes.
44. Too Close For Comfort
My son was planned. But after separating from his father when he was only eight months old and having basically nowhere to go and no way to actually take care of him on my own, there were many, many times I thought about the possibility of dropping him off at the hospital and skipping town. I never did, thankfully. He is eight years old now and we are very happy together.
45. Passing The Bar
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I’m not going to finish my degree and I’ve already paid off all my student loan debts. My degree was pointless and I don’t do well in school anyway due to my ADHD. My dad constantly asks me when I’m going to finish and stop bartending. I just keep saying I’ll be finishing soon.
I hate disappointing my parents because my father always gets very proud of my sister and me with all of our accomplishments. But truth be told, I’m quite content with the $60k a year that I make bartending right now. My degree would only have pulled in about $35k as a starting salary. I really like my current job and don’t feel that I’m missing out on anything, even though it’s so different than the vision that my parents always had for me.
I’m planning on keeping my true intentions a secret from them for as long as I possibly can.
46. Till The End
My dad had a deep, dark secret for a long time, but I managed to find out about it on my own. The woman who he is now married to is the woman with whom he was having an affair when my mom was dying of cancer.
47. Postcards From Heaven
My girlfriend’s aunt passed on years ago in a car accident, but she isn’t supposed to know that. Her parents still haven't told a soul, and they definitely did not want their young (at the time) daughter to find out about it. Despite the fact that it has been so long since it happened, my girlfriend’s mom still makes fake holiday cards every year claiming to be from her deceased sister.
She always mails them to my girlfriend, fully not realizing that my girlfriend has known about what happened from the aunt’s children for years. It’s a super crazy situation. Any time my girlfriend mentions the aunt’s name, her mom just tries to change the subject immediately. I don't know who they think they are helping here.
48. Unsung Hero
I found this out from my dad's old college roommate, as my dad has never wanted to talk about this with me. Pops was working in the financial district during 9/11, and was in charge of the emergency evacuation for his floor. He saw the towers fall and had to herd everyone off of his floor and out of the building.
Apparently, someone had a heart attack and collapsed behind their desk. He was unable to find this person during the evacuation, and they ended up dying there in the office. I think that my dad might blame himself for this at least partially—which, on top of the trauma of witnessing the towers fall firsthand, has lead him to locking that part of himself away from the world.
One day, I want to tell him that I know about this, and that it wasn't his fault. I know he did the best he could.
49. Two Of A Kind
My cousins have never told their children that they are technically twins, even though they were born two years apart. The backstory is that they did in vitro fertilization and two of the eggs were fertilized. They didn’t feel that they were ready for twins, so they froze one of the eggs and had their second kid two years later. It’s actually pretty cool.
50. She Saved His Life
My parents kept this secret away from me for a long time. When I was only about three or four years old, my dad had been volunteering at a baseball park to shuttle people back and forth on a golf cart. Well, one night, he didn't come home until really late. When I heard him come home, I went to say hi to him. But I stopped in my tracks when I saw him. He looked scared and distraught.
He is normally a rough and tough kind of guy and he has a very big heart. So I asked him what was wrong. He simply said nothing and that he was fine. I believed him and went back to bed. I woke up the next morning to see that our cousin, who often doubles as our babysitter, was at our house, but neither of my parents was.
I asked my cousin where they had gone. She said that they had decided to go to the morning service of church instead of their usual afternoon one. Again, I believed her and never questioned any of it. Flash forward 10 years. That was when my mom finally told me what really happened. And it turned out to be something utterly horrific.
It turns out my dad had been shuttling some guy back to the parking lot when the guy suddenly pulled out a blade and held it up to my dad's neck. He then proceeded to take my dad behind a dumpster and beat him in a brutal and awful way. So, when he got home that night, he waited for everyone to go to sleep and then tried to take his own life by overdosing on painkillers.
My mom woke up in the middle of the night, realizing that he wasn't in bed. She found him in the bathroom, lying on the floor completely motionless. She immediately called for an ambulance and followed it along to the hospital where he was to be treated. He made a full recovery and is thankfully still going strong today.
I don't know where I would have been without him if my mom hadn’t saved his life that night.
51. To Tell, Or Not To Tell?
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I fully know that my mother is cheating on my father. He doesn’t know that it’s happening, at least not to my knowledge, and she doesn’t have any idea that I know what she’s up to. I honestly have no idea what I should do with this information, but for the time being, I cannot bring myself to let either of them know that I know about it.
52. If They Only Knew...
My whole family makes fun of me and thinks that I'm awful with money because I'm super broke despite having a good, well-paying job. But they don’t know my secret. My secret is that I'm actually socking away every spare penny that I get my hands on in order to put my niece through college and to take care of my parents when they can't work anymore.
53. Food For Thought
The secret that I keep hidden from my parents is that I have a pretty serious eating disorder. I’ve had it since I was just 11 years old, and I even went to the hospital for it. I am keeping it under control more now than I used to thanks to the help of the doctors at the hospital. But my parents still have no idea that anything is wrong with me.
54. Table Talk
I’m not the parent, but the child. This last Christmas, I found out that not only had my mom already been previously married and divorced before I was born, but that my dad had also had another kid before he had gotten married to my mom. So, that means I have a secret half-brother or sister out there somewhere, who I have never met.
The real kicker was the way I found out about it all. I found out from my brand new sister-in-law, who had just joined the family. Apparently, she had been doing some digging and research into our family history and she discovered all of these details. She had no idea that they had been a secret, though, and she assumed us kids already knew about them.
So, she just casually brought it up out of the blue on Christmas Eve while we were baking cookies.
55. A Work Of Art
When I was in my early teens, we didn't yet have a computer or the internet at my house, but we did have Cinemax and my friend Doug introduced me to the late-night movies that were shown on the weekends. The secret that I hid from my parents was that, as a teenager who read comics and was not fully aware of the female anatomy, I would try to draw naked pictures of my favorite characters from those movies. Well, my mom found out…but it didn’t really go how I thought it would.
I used to hide the drawings either inside my comic books or in between my mattress and my box spring. I never considered the possibility that my mom would one day change my sheets. When she did, she discovered my secret. She told me that she was disappointed with me for drawing the pictures, but she was also impressed with the artwork.
So, she put the drawings into her special “hope chest” with all of my other stuff that she was proud of. I was embarrassed then, but now in my 30s, it's just nice to know that my mom cared that much about me and the things that I did. I bet not everyone could say that about their parents. Especially not after they discovered your secrets!
56. Little Brother Is Watching You
I know an awful lot of things that my parents don’t realize I know. That is thanks to the fact that I overhear all of their private conversations every single night. I have horrible sleeping patterns, and people always assume that I’m asleep when I’m not. This is because when I lay down for too long, my mouth opens and, when I close my eyes, it looks like I’m sleeping.
Because of this, I know that my dad is cheating on my mom. I’ve been hearing him calling another woman every single night while he thought I was asleep and unable to hear. I also happen to know that my mom steals money from my dad on the regular, as well as from me and my brother. She also badmouths my dad a lot of the time and complains about the fact that I'm not good at dealing with conflict.
She also thinks I'm too sensitive. Many nights, I can hear them arguing behind closed doors, and then, in the morning, they just act like everything is great and like nothing ever happened. But I know that that’s not true. I’ve also secretly heard them badmouth me and my brothers, and talk about wanting a divorce. And it still gets so much worse...
I’ve heard them express the fact that they both don’t want me or my brother. They also both don’t want our pet cats. They openly admit that they hate each other, and they love pointing out sensitive things that will anger each other. They also hit one another from time to time. Night after night, I learn more and more secrets about how awful they really are. And I never let on that I know any of it.
57. Job Security
My young daughter doesn’t know that we weren't actually visiting daddy at "his work." It was a secure psychiatric ward where he has been living since she was 3 months old.
58. How Much Is That Secret In The Window?
The secret that I have kept hidden from my parents for a very long time is that I used to frequently sneak out of the house from our second story bathroom window to go nightclubbing with my friends after the two of them had both gone to bed at night. This little secret of mine made some of my greatest high school memories possible.
59. Butterfly Effect
I blame myself for my sister’s passing. She passed on from complications following a car accident. The car accident was caused by sun blinding the other driver as he drove over a crest, which only happens at a specific time in the morning. Everyone knows that my sister accidentally slept in that morning before driving to the coast.
No one knows that it was my fault. I borrowed her alarm clock the night before. I did it because I wanted to get up early to finish an assignment that I had left to the last minute to complete and I regret it every day.
60. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
I have a very dark secret that I would never want my children to find out about. Before I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I took a massive amount of pills. I think it's the closest I've ever come to taking my own life. I had always dealt with anxiety and depression. I feel like the extra hormones put me over the edge.
I found out about a week later that I was pregnant. It came as a total surprise. I was terrified throughout the entire pregnancy that something would be wrong with my kid as a result of the excess of pills that I had consumed that night. Luckily, he was born completely healthy and is an incredibly smart child. I've never told a single soul about that incident.
I feel so guilty about it, even to this day.
61. Not Very Sweet Emotion
They knew I had a nervous breakdown during my freshman year of high school and they knew that I went through a very dark phase at the age of 15. However, they didn’t know the heartbreaking reason why. I was hurt and taken advantage of as a kid, and I wanted to take my own life for many years afterward as a result of the incident.
62. Fire In The Hole
My cousin is not a good person. He was an addict and he used the house we used to live in as kids to cook and use illicit substances. One night, while I was living with my mom a few houses down the road from him, I was up at 3 am just watching his house from my kitchen window. I saw him leave. Without thinking about it too much, I grabbed a lighter and a piece of printer paper. I snuck out, walked over, and knocked on the door. No one answered. That's when I got an evil idea.
There was a small window on the side of the house that was open, and the curtains were dry and thick. I twisted the paper as tightly as possible, lit it on fire — and then set the curtains on fire. I threw the paper through the window onto the floor and then snuck back in my house. I sat at the kitchen window and watched my cousin’s house slowly catch on fire with a smile on my face. All of the sudden, it exploded. I guess the stuff he used to make his dope went off.
My parents woke up and called 9-1-1. I took a lawn chair and sat at the end of my yard and watched it burn from about 300 feet away. Law enforcement found the remains of the lab after the fire was out and my cousin got sent to prison. I knew what I’d done was wrong, but I still cant help feeling that justice was served.
63. Car Trouble
I was the kid in the scenario. When I was about 12 years old, my dad lost his life to leukemia. He was never around much when I was growing up, so I didn't see him often. But that was not the secret. I actually distinctly remember the day he took off and left us. I woke up one morning and there was a pile of new toys on the living room floor with a note for mom.
Anyway, he started coming around again later, when he received his prognosis. We developed something resembling a positive relationship before his passing. When he finally did pass, it absolutely destroyed me. I still remember the funeral. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the car because I didn't want to see it.
In his will, he left me his car. It was a Camaro that I was supposed to get when I turned 16. I was very moved when I found out about that. But then things took a bizarre turn. For some apparently inexplicable reason, my dad’s parents fought tooth and nail to keep the car away from me. They were really crummy people, as his entire side of the family was.
We eventually just told them to bugger off and we kept the darn car. Fast forward about 15 years ahead. I suddenly found out that the guy who had passed was not actually my dad. He was my brothers' dad, but not mine. My real, biological dad has been living in the next town over, 20 minutes away from my house, for my entire life without me knowing he even existed.
It turned out that my entire family knew about this, except for me. That was why my "grandparents" fought to keep the car. They knew I was not his son. I still don't definitively know if he himself knew or not, but I assume he must have. My maternal grandmother has met my biological father several times over the years. My mom said she never thought these details were anything worth bringing up to me.
Said she intended for me to never find out. I've still never spoken to my biological father. I know his full name and an approximation of where he lived as of about 10 years ago. Beyond that, I know absolutely nothing about the guy. Grandma said that if I ever want to meet him, she will help me get in touch. I have no idea if I ever will.
64. Money Makes The World Go Round
The secret that I choose to keep hidden from my parents is that I make a lot more money than I let on. My parents have always been and always will be the "I took care of you all your life, time for you to pay it back" type of parents. Except as far as they’re concerned, there is no end to this "debt" that I allegedly owe them. So, I just hide money from them so that they can't take advantage of me.
65. A Change Of Heart
I’m currently 22 years old. When I was a teenager, I found out that my dad did not believe I was his kid when my mom had first given birth to me. He even demanded a paternity test so that he wouldn’t have to pay child support on me. He really thought my mom had cheated on him during a business trip she went on. It was a pretty messed up situation.
I don’t know why, but a paternity test was never done. Unless it was done in secret and I’ve never been told about it. Either way, learning about this explained why I always felt so distant from my dad for the first ten years of my life. He always favored my older sister more when I was younger and called her “daddy’s little girl.” I felt like he always hated me and this explained why.
Today, he’s the best dad ever. I don’t know if something shifted or what, but me and him are extremely close now and he loves me endlessly. He’s been such a great dad, especially when I was going through a rough time in high school and had really bad depression and anxiety. My mom is a little bit bipolar, so we’ve always lived in a toxic household.
He was the only one to come and pick me up and just be there for me when I needed it most.
66. Bonus Gift
When I was very little, what I thought was going to be a harmless toot turned into a little bit more. This was before I had the wherewithal to know not to check for poop with my hand. I had no clue what to do because the bathroom was right past my parent's room and I thought I would get in trouble if they saw that I had wiped my butt with my hand.
So, I looked around my living room, and I saw big speakers that were hooked up to the TV. These things were taller than I was back then. The shelves we kept our cassette tapes on hid the backside of these speakers, making them the perfect place to hide some poop. The worst part isn't that I wiped my butt chocolate on these speakers...
...It's that when my parents eventually bought a better TV that came with better speakers, they generously decided to give the old speakers to my cousin's family. It's been about fifteen years since we gave them the poopy speakers. My cousin's parents, my aunt and uncle, got divorced a few years back, and my aunt is now in possession of the poo speakers. Fifteen years later, nobody knows what I did.
67. Without A Trace
I'm the child in this story, even though I am currently a 48-year-old woman. All throughout my childhood, my father had led me to falsely believe that my mother was deceased. And every other member of the family supported the lie. This includes all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and even my stepmother. Every single one of them.
I had no reason to ever doubt this claim. What’s even worse is the reason behind the lie. It turns out he made this up not because my mother was on substances or harmful as a parent, or even a bad person in any way. Nothing like that at all. It was just because the two of them had gotten into a huge argument one night and she went to stay in a hotel with a friend, without me.
When she left the house that night, he was enraged and decided right then and there that she would never be allowed back into my life again. Ever. Under any circumstances. He wrote her off completely and made up a fake story to explain her absence away. Then, on my 18th birthday, she called our house and asked to speak with me. So, I found out the truth.
68. Appearances Can Be Deceiving
The messed up secret that I hide from my children is that we are so poor. They're little, so they don't notice. But we struggle a lot every month just to be able to pay the rent and buy our groceries. We were kind of young when we had our kids. We were both in grad school at the time. So we're in a pretty weird spot when it comes to our job prospects.
We both have fancy-sounding degrees that your average person would assume turned into a well-paying job. I am now a “postdoc,” and we are notoriously underpaid. Sometimes I think, "Wow, I have a PhD. You'd think I'd be smart enough to work out how to get more money..." The problem is that I moved my family to a new country for this job, so I can’t just leave it so easily.
That is another thing that gives people the false impression that we are in better financial shape than we are. Knowing that we went out on a limb and traveled halfway around the world for a fancy-sounding job would make you think we had everything sorted out. But in our case, nothing can be farther from the truth. I just hope that my children can have a happy childhood and that I won’t have to reveal the truth to them any time soon.
69. If It Quacks Like A Chicken...
I'm still working out a plan for how exactly I’m going to explain to my children that the “chicken” we eat for dinner every night is the same kind of “chicken” as the ones that live on the farms they love to visit. That is definitely going to be an awkward conversation. For the time being, I am more than happy to keep this as a secret from them.
70. Too Little and Too Late
When I was a kid I heard a shot while walking down a street. I ran back home, fast as I could. Went to my room and watched TV to calm myself down. Didn't tell anybody. Two hours passed, and the phone rang. Mom told me my uncle passed on after being shot, trying to stop a fight nearby. At the funeral, we were told my uncle could've lived if paramedics arrived earlier.
For 20 years, I've always thought I could've saved him.
71. Out Of The Past
I'm hiding a lot of things from my kids. Like the fact that I used to be a stripper for more than 10 years. And the fact that I grew up in a horrible and unstable home. And the fact that I partied hard as a youngster and used to be a huge part of the New York City and Montreal club scenes. And the fact that I was once kidnapped and taken to another country.
There's a lot of things about my past that I would prefer to just forget, and I definitely don’t want my children to find out about them anytime soon. Now, as far as anyone I know today is concerned, I'm just a boring accountant mom. And that’s all I want to be. No one has any clue about what I've been through in my past. Isn’t it crazy what your kids don't know about you?
72. Skeletons in the Closet
When I was 15, my dad sat me down and told me the true story of why my parents divorced when I was still just a kid. My brother and I had lived with my mom, so we only heard her story before that, which was that my father was an awful alcoholic and she decided to leave because of it. The truth was much more complicated.
The true story was that, yes, my dad was an alcoholic and he and my mom weren’t compatible in any way. So he threw himself into work—and my mom began an affair with my uncle’s neighbor. My dad caught them, filed for divorce, then got sober. 12 years later, only my dad and I still know the true story. We both knew that my brother wouldn’t be able to handle knowing. It took a few years and therapy, but I forgave her.
73. Moving On
The secret that I keep from my parents is that I’m not straight. Me and my fiancé don’t consider it cheating as long as whatever I do is with someone of the same gender, and as long as we inform each other prior. I hate my parents and can’t wait to leave. I don’t trust them to take my feelings seriously if I come clean to them about this secret.
The only reason I’m getting mentally healthier nowadays is that my therapist and fiancé have worked hard to help me learn that some things can’t be fixed and need to be thrown away, in this case, my relationship with my parents. My doctor is very excited about me becoming mentally stable enough to care for myself so that I can pursue university in a place where they are not around.
There’s just one thing that makes me want to stay—and breaks my heart. My 11-year-old sister trusts me more than she trusts them, and one time she cried asking me not to leave because she didn’t want to be left there alone with our parents. She’s been showing very obvious symptoms of anxiety and depression due to being bullied at school for the past few months. I want to help her, but my mom keeps getting in the way.
When I say anything about the situation to her, she quickly shuts me by saying “She probably did something wrong and that’s why she’s scared.” I can’t do anything because I’m not her legal guardian, so I’ve been trying to teach her grounding techniques. I tell her the things that work for me other than my meds.
74. Saved by the Smell
My secret is that I know my dad cheated on my mom. I know this because, when I was just 9 years old, he invited the person he was cheating with over to our house while I was home, thinking I wouldn’t know or understand what was going on. At the time, my parents had been frequently fighting, but they were trying to work things out. It was bad enough by this point, though, that they had already started sleeping in separate rooms.
Earlier that day, I had jumped on my dad’s bed and broken the board supporting it on the frame. I wasn't allowed to jump on the bed, and often got in trouble for doing so. When my mom came into the room to discipline me, she could smell the fact that my dad had just had company, because the woman had clearly smoked while she was in the room.
She asked if I had jumped on the bed. I said no, fearing that I would get in trouble if I confessed the truth. I was surprised to see that there was no follow up trying to prove my guilt. Years later, I suddenly remembered the whole incident—and that's when I realized the painful truth. My seemingly harmless lie basically incriminated my dad in her eyes. She thought he and the woman broke the bed. Now, I'm sure he was actually guilty of what my mom suspected; but nevertheless, it was my lie that got him kicked out of the house for good.
I will never let anyone know that I was the one who really broke the bed; or that I broke up my parents’ marriage in the process, either.
75. A Freak Of Nature, In A Good Way!
The secret that I keep from my child is that her existence is an absolute miracle. She is currently three years old. Her birth mom, who happens to be my wife’s sister, didn’t want to have her. As a result, she basically tried to intentionally cause a miscarriage via drinking and heavy-duty substance misuse during her pregnancy.
The girl was ultimately born 11 weeks premature, and she had five different illicit substances in her system at birth. She shouldn’t even be alive by most medical estimations, yet here she is. She does have some slight developmental setbacks, but overall she is solidly inside the bell curve. Her socialization is on point, and she should start school on time with all her peers.
Most likely, she will know of none of this until she is in her teens at least. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have this impossible yet amazing little person in my life.
76. Dad’s History
That our father lied to our family about everything: where he grew up, lived, his background, other family, jobs. We found out after he passed on and never spoke of it again. It’s been 10 years since.
77. He Lived To Not Tell the Tale
My father is hiding the fact that someone tried to kill him when he was in his teens from me. He has scars on his head from where he was beat with a hammer. He doesn't know that I know this, and I only know because I once overheard a conversation between my grandmother and her brothers about the incident. It's really chilling.
78. Family Ties
The secret that could destroy me is that my youngest niece is, in all likelihood, my daughter. Yes, this means I slept with my sibling’s spouse. And yes, their child looks exactly like me. For obvious reasons, this fact would cause tremendous stress and shock for every member of my family, and I have no intention of allowing them to ever find out about it.
79. The Slip-Up
Apparently, our dad had another kid about 8 years older than me. My mom blurted something out about it after their divorce when she was angry about something. It was along the lines of, "if he thinks he can forget you exist like that other kid of his..." She then turned very white and I was never able to get more out of her than that.
My dad pretends he doesn't know what I'm talking about, but has apparently told my brother a bit of the story and then backtracked and never talked about it again. So yeah, apparently I'm not the oldest.
80. Meddling Grandmother
My uncle got his high school girlfriend pregnant, and my grandmother drove her to the clinic for an abortion, agreeing to pay only if the girlfriend didn't tell my uncle that she was going to abort his child. It tore him up when he found out, but that hardly excuses his next actions. My father got my mother pregnant around that time as well, and she was also (not too discretely) offered the same deal by my grandmother. My mother refused with a few choice words.
My uncle found out, tracked my mother down, and punched her in the stomach for "daring to take what was ripped away from him." My mother subsequently miscarried who would have been my big brother. My mom, the saint that she is, forgave him and tried to help him get some therapy. He rejected her help and joined the army instead.
I didn't find out any of this until I was an adult, which really messed with my head since my uncle had always been really close to me, right up until I came out of the closet. I think he somehow thought of me as the daughter his mother had forced his girlfriend to abort.
81. In And Out
My son is still very young, but I'm not planning to ever tell him that, at one point, his dad left us because of his heavy substance misuse…and the fact that he was having an affair with another woman. He is clean now and they split up, so he is back in our lives. He's at least trying to be involved again. I have decided that as long as he stays clean and wants to be involved in our son’s life, then I don't plan on revealing his secret.
If it does somehow come up in the future, then I would like to give his dad the chance to explain everything directly from his own perspective. And I'll be there for any questions, as well as for support. I know how hard it will be for my son if he finds out about it. My biological dad left me in a similar way when I was a kid.
I always interpreted it to mean that my dad didn't want me. I don't ever want my son to feel that way. I harbor no ill will toward my ex and I truly hope that he does stay clean for his own sake, and for the sake of his kids. In addition to my son, he also has an older daughter with someone else. All one can do in a situation like this is just hope for the best and try not to dwell on the past too much.
82. Video Games
Back when I was in the seventh grade, I started to get into watching adult videos and my favorite kind, for some reason, was guy-on-guy stuff even though I’m a girl. Anyways, I didn’t know how anything but YouTube worked back then, so I ended up downloading and saving something like three explicit gay videos on my phone.
Needless to say, I did not tell my mom about this secret interest of mine. But I had an Android phone so when I deleted the videos, the titles were still in my phone and could be viewed in my download history. For some reason, my mom took my phone from me one day and went through it. She then sat me down and asked me about the video titles she had found on it.
Now, I’m not necessarily proud of what happened next. I’m a very good liar. But in this particular situation, I didn’t have to do much lying. That was because as soon as I started crying and saying that I didn’t do it, she immediately believed me and blamed the whole thing on my stepdad. She said that she’d had a suspicion that he was gay throughout their whole relationship and all that.
After that, she never confronted him and just continued to stay with him even though she thought he was gay. Unintended side effect? That was when I realized that my mom was a golddigger. But regardless, my secret remained intact.
83. Grown-Ups Do The Darndest Things
The secret that I never plan on revealing to my children is the sheer volume of extreme toys for adults that I have hidden in my bedroom. There's also a 50/50 chance that our eldest child was conceived in an adult club. Let’s just say that my husband and I have always had some pretty wild tastes when it comes to our bedroom life…
84. The Meaning Behind The Name
I am named after my grandmother on my mother’s side, who passed before I was born. For my entire life, I knew who I was named for, but what my mom kept hidden was the terrible way that she met her fate. She was knifed by her own son when my mom was just 18 years old and didn’t make it. I had always suspected that my grandma had a tragic end because of the way my mom would always avoid talking about it. But I had no idea that it was that tragic.
85. 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 service, 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 law enforcement, but they didn’t find him fast enough. He returned in the middle of the night and set fire to our house, got rid of our family dog, and took the life of 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 service, but I figured that out before-hand.
86. The Story Behind The Story
I’m the father of a young child. I lost my job at the age of 24 and I couldn't find a new one. I didn't have a degree in anything, so after a year of being "poor," I decided to start selling my body on the streets. After two years of this, a rubber broke while I was sleeping with a female client. I noticed it quickly and I decided to tell the girl about it right away.
I could have chosen the easy way out by pretending that nothing happened and just avoiding all contact with her if she got pregnant. But I didn't. After a few months of having contact with her, it was clear that she was pregnant. I could have chosen the easy way out again, but instead, I decided to be a father for my future child.
We didn’t get married, but I made sure I would be a part of the child’s life. Because I strongly believe that every child deserves a father. Besides that, I couldn't live with myself knowing that I had a son out there who I didn't take any responsibility for. I quit my “work,” moved in with this girl, made sure everything was alright, and six months later there he was.
Our beautiful son. For the first few years of his life, we didn't tell him anything about the origins of our relationship, for obvious reasons. When he was seven years old and he really started asking questions, we told him we were boyfriend and girlfriend but had broken up when he was three. The story went that we had stayed together because we still liked each other, but that we didn't love each other anymore.
That's what we told him and we'll always keep it like that. Looking back on it, I don't have any regrets whatsoever. Our son just turned 10 years old and he is a happy kid growing up as any other kid would, with a father and a mother. Seeing his smile makes my day. Is it the easiest thing in the world to live with? Definitely not.
Did I do the right thing, though? Of course, some people out there will have different opinions on it, but I think I made the right choice for myself and that's what matters.
87. Ignoring the Truth
That my parents passed on from AIDS in the early 90s when I was 2. Growing up, I never knew how my mother went, and I was told my father just "disappeared." I remember throwing a tantrum in middle school for wanting to know what really happened to my parents. My aunt finally told me the truth. I remember crying alone in my room for hours. I'm pretty sure their tragic fates were the starting point for how strange my family is.
Anyhow, my family hasn't mentioned it since then, and I'm now 27. As far as I know, we've never said the words HIV or AIDS aloud in my family. If it must be talked about, it's "that disease" or something similar. My friends constantly wonder why I never mention my parents, and I still have hang-ups telling people why/how they passed on. It makes me feel so conflicted inside because I know I should have nothing to feel ashamed of, but my family and society makes me feel like my parents' illnesses should be swept under the rug.
88. Toying With Her Heart
My messed up secret is that I recently accidentally ran over my young daughter’s favorite stuffed toy with my lawnmower. I knew she would be devastated at losing it, and I couldn’t bear to admit that I was the one responsible. So I told her that the neighbor’s dog had eaten it. I know that it sounds silly and that she will know it was a lie if she still remembers this when she gets older, but I will never come clean.
89. Great Expectations
My messed up secret that I will never tell my kids is that, after all of the wild and dangerous substances that their mother and I did before they were born, we both thought for sure that they would be born with major birth defects. We were totally shocked when that turned out not to be the case, and we don’t plan on ever telling them about the expectations we had.
90. Learning the Truth About Dad
I was always told by my family that my biological grandfather on mom’s side passed on in a rock-climbing accident right before Mom was born. I found out last year that what actually happened was, while he was still attending college in the South in the 60s, my grandmother discovered that he liked to wear women’s clothing after finding a box of dresses in his size in his closet.
The next day, she came back to find him hanging from the ceiling, and she and two of her brothers had to smuggle his body out of the room and convince a coroner to rule it an accident. I’m honestly not even sure of who all in the family knows the truth, but anyone who does sure as heck doesn’t talk about it.
91. Way to Leave Us Hanging
When I was young, my mom's best friend passed. She wouldn't tell me how, only that it was sudden. When I asked why we weren't going to the funeral, she told me that there wasn’t one. But just months ago, I was scrolling through her phone to find the number for a pizza place, and as I’m looking I come across the phone number of the long-departed best friend.
I was floored, and very suspicious. The next day I called the number from a pay phone—and that’s when the situation went from suspicious to disturbing. As I'm scrolling through her contacts I come across the phone number of the dead best friend. Biggest "what the eff" moment of my life. The next day I called it from a pay phone at Waffle House and she picked up. I instantly recognized the voice and accent. She's very much alive.
92. Making It Work
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 self-harm 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.
93. 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 his passing, 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.
94. A Little Something Extra
My dad is a retired junior/senior high school art teacher. Every single morning for well over a decade, he packed an extra lunch and put it in a place in his classroom where a student whose family was struggling could take it without making a big deal of it. Eventually, when the older student graduated, one of his younger siblings started taking his class.
The kid would already know he could take the extra lunch bag without having to face talking to my dad about it, or being embarrassed in front of the class. I used to ask why Dad packed two lunches while I was growing up, and he would just say, “I sometimes get extra hungry.” My mom later told me the truth. He is such a quiet, humble, and extremely generous man.
95. A Sweet Treat Before It Ends
When I was in kindergarten my dad would routinely show up, sign me out of class, and take me for ice cream without telling anyone. Best memory ever. In retrospect, my dad knew he was dying, and passed when I was 6. He routinely did stuff like this. I feel as if I missed nothing, I’m now 35.
96. Like the Brother Never Even Existed
My brother who passed on. We never, ever talk about him. It’s so strange, growing up I knew I had a brother and I knew he was fatally 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 on 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.
97. All In The Family
I’m the adoptive parent of three kids, two of which are biological siblings…and also cousins. I found out a year after the adoption that the biological parents were half-siblings who shared the same dad. The biological parents were aware of what they were doing, yet they allowed them to not only have the first child, but also a second child as well.
The kids are now 16 and 13 years old respectively, and have zero clue that they are a product of inbreeding. Unfortunately, their biological grandpa just passed, so there very well could be a big reveal coming in the near future. Sharing this messed
up secret with them is not something that I am at all looking forward to. Wish me luck, I guess!
98. Two of a Kind
My wife and I each have a child from a previous marriage. Both of our ex-spouses were abusive cheaters. Both children still adore and idolize their other parents, and have no idea that they ever did anything wrong. We just keep smiling and nodding. This is a secret that we will probably maintain for years to come, if not longer.
99. The Old Switcharoo
I secretly bought my son from a human trafficker after my wife had lost our biological child during the birth process. This is quite easy to do in my country, considering that there are a lot of very poor parents willing to give their children away. My wife regained consciousness after 4 days. Neither she nor my son know about this.
100. You’ve Got A Friend In Me
My mother has always wondered why I didn't have too many friends back in high school. The real reason is a secret that I would never want her to know about. It is because, growing up, my family was always broke and I knew that she was struggling financially. So, in order to avoid anyone seeing how we lived, I always refused anytime people from school wanted to do things with me or have get-togethers at my house.
To make matters even worse, I decided during my senior year that I did not want to burden my mother by asking for money when I needed to buy things. As a result, I started working as much as I could outside of school. This gave me even less time to make friends. I would never want my mother to find out about this, and I would never want her to feel guilty or blame herself for my lack of social life as a child.
101. Adopting A New Attitude
My parents recently confided in me and told me that my sister is adopted. They have never told her about this, and they apparently plan on keeping it a secret from her forever. They are worried about how she would react to being told, and how the knowledge would affect her relationship with them. She's currently 34 years old. I have no idea what to do with this information.
102. Dad’s Tragedy
Here is one that my dad never told me but my uncle shared after my dad has passed. He was madly in love with a girl when he was 17 years old. They were soul mates, lovers meant to be, engaged to be married and grow old together... all that sweet jazz. They went to the county fair one year and decided to ride the Ferris Wheel.
About the time they got to the top and started heading back down the safety bar came unhooked and swung open. My dad grabbed her and held onto the seat. He tried to hold her but he couldn't. She fell and she didn't make it. My dad never mentioned it, never said a word to anyone, even to my mom. My uncle said her passing broke his heart and he was never the same again, until after I was born.
He would never let me go to fairs, amusement parks, or any place with rides when I was growing up and we used to get into big fights about it when all my friends were going. He always told me it was just because they were dangerous and didn't want me to get hurt.