Having a secret exposed is a two-edged sword. Sometimes, it can change lives for the better, while other times, it can cause complete and utter chaos. Read on to see how even the smallest secrets can have the biggest ripple effects:
1. Happy Holidays
My secret is that during my mom's boss' Christmas party one year, my girlfriend at the time and I passionately made love in front of the venue behind a pine tree.
2. He Didn’t Start The Fire
This happened to me when I was in fourth grade, back then we had a special needs kid in our class. He would often have sudden outbursts and overall was quite the hassle. Anyone, one day we had to get matches from our homes for a science experiment, and me being the chaotic kid I decided to try lighting a match in the classroom, which caused quite a stir.
And when the class was interrogated about what happened and who did it, I shifted the blame to the autistic kid, and due to his previous records and tendencies, they didn’t doubt me in the slightest. The autistic kid got a temporary suspension, while I got away scot-free.
I made it through the whole year without anyone suspecting a thing, and the next year I moved schools, so the chances of them finding the true perpetrator is impossible.
Am I proud of it, no. I exploited a person’s disability for my benefits, and I feel like a terrible person for doing it. As a kid I didn’t think much of it, I just thought I got away with it and that's all, but now that I am more grown and mature, I realize the absolute gravity of the situation. I could’ve gotten this poor kid expelled for something he had zero involvement in.
3. Lost In Translation
I found out my cousin's dad isn't really his dad, but he doesn't know. It was news to me when we took a trip to Mexico, and his mom kept his passport away from him the whole time. During that trip, all the cousins were passing together through immigration and customs, and my aunt gave me his passport to hold. She told me not to give it to him or show it to him.
When I saw it, his last name wasn't his dad's last name, which I always thought it was! I told my sister and other cousins about it, and they apparently already knew this. My mom told me not to tell my cousin about it. I was the last of the cousins to find out. The poor guy adamantly believes his current dad is his biological father.
I can only assume that his mom refused to teach him or let him learn English so he wouldn't learn the truth. He is 30-something years old, and whenever he wants to open up a credit card or bank account, his mother has to go with him to "translate" his paperwork.
4. Putting In The (Self) Work
I am not actually in therapy. Not because I don’t believe it doesn’t work or help me. I am 25 and have spent more than 16 of those years with different therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists dissecting and analyzing my thoughts and feelings. The problem is that my parents don’t accept any form of self-discovery unless they think it comes from a professional.
I have grown more in the past two years from being 8,000 km (5,000 miles) away from them and just writing down and processing my feelings than I have from any doctor they’ve sent me to. So I came up with a plan to fool them.
My parents never acknowledged my growth until I started falsely using the phrase “my therapist told me to”…
Ever since I started doing that they have had nothing but praise for how hard I’ve been working on myself and how much better I’m doing. They have finally understood things I’ve been trying to explain for almost a decade just because I told them that my therapist said it instead of me.
It isn’t costing any of us any money but if they found out they would definitely freak out.
5. Take Me Out to the Ball Game
I learned that my grandfather apparently had a hand in designing one of the original World Series trophies back in the day. He never got any credit for it, but we have photos and parts of his prototype version; so we know it’s true. When I was a teen, I added what I had heard about his role to a Wikipedia page, since why not? I believe my contribution has since been taken down but, funny story, I actually ended but being quoted in newspapers all over the country because of it!
A few years later, I proceeded to get a call from my mom one day, who was almost in tears (of joy) on the phone. She found that Wikipedia page and was FREAKING OUT over the fact that it mentioned my grandfather. She was so happy that he had finally gotten the credit he deserved in the eyes of the public. She ended up making really fancy shadow boxes of the printed out Wiki page, including copies of the original photos and other baseball stuff. She made one for each of her siblings as well.
I've had to just bite my tongue every time I go over there and see this thing hanging prominently in the living room, knowing that it’s all in reaction to something that I innocently did.
6. Dad Got Around
My dad cheated on my mom multiple times. He was even living a double life with a girlfriend in a different state. I found out about his philandering ways when I was 16. It was around 1am, and the authorities called my house. They didn't bother to ask for my mom, but they did inform me that my dad had been taken into custody that night for soliciting a hooker. Years later, after my mom passed on, my dad admitted to his double life but still maintains his innocence for the night mentioned.
7. Road Ragers
I was involved in a road rage incident that caused an accident, and I fled the scene.
I was at a red light waiting to turn left when a motorcycle pulled up to the car in front of me and they started talking through the window. I honked as the light had been green and I waited at least 30 seconds but I didn’t wanna miss the light because I was on my way to one of my college classes.
The car drove off but the man on the motorcycle began spitting on my car and yelling at me. I honked and flipped him off, and he turned left and I quickly followed. He then proceeded to cut me off, screaming at me, and brake-checking me. I refused to let him get away with it—so as soon as traffic let me I did the same to him, and when I cut him off he must have hit the curb and crashed.
I didn’t make any contact with him, but I did cause him to crash and I just sped off. I saw a fire truck pull over to help the guy… I do feel pretty guilty about that. Since then I don’t engage with people on the road anymore, it’s not worth it.
8. Acting Like It Never Happened
My secret is that me and my cousin took turns licking each other when we were about 10 years old. I have a vivid memory of it. We have never spoken of it since. We're both 25-year-old men with normal lives now.
9. Unidentified Family Offspring
I was the oldest of three kids, or so I thought. At my grandma’s funeral, when I was 30, I met a nice woman who had grown up on my grandma’s street. She was fawning all over me and talking about how beautiful I was and such. I mentioned her to my mom later, saying, “Nice lady....a little weird”. My mom then thought it was as good a time as any to tell me that the woman was the mother of my older half-sister.
Apparently, my dad got the girl down the street pregnant when they were 16. They were from Catholic families, so they made a heart-wrenching decision to put the baby up for adoption at birth. It apparently ruined this woman’s life. She’s been trying to track down the child on adoption sites and celebrates her birthday every year without any luck. It is truly crazy to know you have an unidentified family member out there. I hope to somehow meet her someday.
10. Worked Out
When I was a teenager, my parents were divorced yet lived within walking distance of each other. I would often walk back and forth between their homes for whatever reason. I got to know a family that lived in the house on the corner of the block that my mother lived on. One day, as I was passing this family’s house, I noticed a wallet on the ground. I picked it up and opened it. I noticed that the address on the ID was the house on the corner, and that it belonged to the mom of the family who was a very nice lady.
Me being a teenager, I took all of the money out of the wallet, which was a total of about $50. I then went back to the home and returned the wallet, explaining that I had found it down the street. The mother was very relieved and grateful to have it back. What always weighed on me is that, a few weeks later, I passed the corner house as I often did and the lady stopped me. She wanted to thank me for returning the wallet and handed me a $50 bill as a token of her appreciation. I tried to refuse it, but she insisted.
I was rewarded for stealing. While it’s not a big secret per se, it is something that I always think of and feel guilty about for some reason. I have never really had the heart to tell anyone about it.
11. Snitches Get Stitches
I shared a physics class with twin brothers who were disruptive, nasty, and sociopathic. When they finished school, they were often in and out of prison. One of them even served time for trying to bump off some guy. One time, these brothers burned all of the trees on a sacred plot of land near where I lived.
I knew it was them. One of them took a reel of phosphorus from the school lab. They’d been fascinated with it since we had done an experiment earlier in the week. The authorities knew that the fire had been started with a reel of phosphorus tape. I told the principal. If the twins ever found out that I did this, I hate to think what they’d do to me—even 25 years later.
Thankfully, they’ll never know and I spend the majority of my time in two different countries anyway. so even if they did find out somehow—oh, let’s face it, they wouldn’t be smart enough to find me. Law enforcement was able to prove that it was them and they confessed. Their excuse? They wanted to see how fast it would all burn.
12. It Was A Setup
I found out several years ago that my grandfather was set up to be held up and was slain. This was in the late 70s on the Lower East Side. It was my aunt’s sister who set him up. He used to run numbers in the bars on the LES, and she knew he’d have a bunch of dough on him. He was stabbed and later passed from the wounds. He blasted one of the assailants during the incident. My aunt went full bipolar, and during a routine family event four years ago, she told me everything.
13. 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. She was a severely overweight woman, and my dad is also quite overweight himself. 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. 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.
14. Finders Keepers
A customer came in a couple of days ago and paid with a gift card. The register had trouble with the CVV code on the back and froze for a couple of seconds. Before I had the time to fix the issue, the customer had taken their groceries and left.
Now I'm sitting there and thinking she must have scammed me with a gift card without any balance. I put the gift card back in the register and thought nothing of it. At the end of the shift I let curiosity take the best of me, and I took it home. When I got home I checked the balance, and there was 550 dollars on it.
I have decided to use it all to pay for food and necessities for the rest of the month. I should point out that I am a struggling student, working two jobs on the side. Not that it makes it any more ethical.
15. Love Child
My dad had a “kid sister”. She lived with and took care of my grandmother until her passing. Many years later, I found out that she was actually the child of my grandfather and a young woman he had met at a bar.
The young woman later married my uncle and rehabilitated her image by becoming a church lady. It made me respect my grandmother so much more. My grandfather left her alone with six children, yet she took in his “love child” and raised and loved her as her own.
16. The Old Switcharoo
In the 8th grade, I completely sucked at arts and crafts. For our term assignment, we were given the parts to build this toy car thing. My car did not work at all. We had to race it and the teacher would grade each car. I knew my engine didn’t work, so I just replaced the shell of the sample model car that my teacher had with mine, and raced the teacher’s car as if it was my own. I swapped it back right after before anyone could notice.
In the end, the final examinations screwed me over, but I still managed to pass the class thanks to this incident bumping up my overall grade.
17. By The Seat Of Their Pants
This happened to me on the job when I was working as a paramedic. We were on the way to a chest pain patient and I suddenly had an intense need to pass gas. There was no way I could hold it in. That’s when disaster struck. Unfortunately, my bottom burp added some weight and color to my white trousers. Since we were on the way to a job, though, there was nothing I could do.
So, during the whole job, I made sure to keep myself turned in a way that ensured no one was ever behind me, including my colleagues, the patient, his wife and son, and later on the hospital personnel. I wore my jacket tied around my hips like an idiot as well. It all worked quite well, but, wow, was that a tough moment.
18. Way Off Target
My grandfather owned a B-25 plane and shelled Haiti in 1968. The CIA hired him and was supposed to hit the Head of State’s house. The only problem was that he missed and dropped the missiles on the Head of State’s parent’s house. Oh, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.
He also proceeded to land, break into multiple banks, and fly back to turn in the money, which at the time only amounted to $8K.
19. Passing the Real Test
I am a teacher. I once had a sweet, wonderful student who had been in foster care for years, but his mom worked her butt off to get him back and eventually did. He had to take a very important state exam and she called me afterward to ask if he had passed it. I looked at the grades and saw that he did, so I told her so. She immediately burst into tears of joy; and that was precisely when I realized that I had been looking at the wrong score.
He had actually failed—but I knew what I had to do. I changed his grade to a pass. No one knew. That was the only time in my entire career that I ever did something like that. It could have cost me my license. The weird thing is that, on a separate occasion, when my awful and corrupt principal tried to pressure me to change other students' scores so that we could raise our pass rate, I refused.
I never told anyone about what I did for that student. He eventually went into the Armed Forces, was extremely successful there, and had a great wife and kids. So at the end of the day, I guess that I did the right thing. Screw those standardized tests. They aren't human.
20. Card Sharks
In 2006, here in Canada, there was a huge oil drilling boom in Alberta. Lots of young guys my age went out to Alberta to make $10k/mo+ doing manual labor jobs.
Several of my friends went. I stayed home because I was making a living playing poker at the time. One of my friends was injured on the job out there and invited me out there to play poker with him. There were tons of poker games going on everywhere, lots of young guys with tons of cash.
We spent the entire winter cheating at poker. We had a dozen tricks. Most of it centered around the idea of loading the bottom of the deck and base-dealing each other’s cards (mechanics grip). We had some good communication tricks, and we did it very well. We could make a couple grand per night.
We never got caught. It was a crummy living. We slept in a van or hotels for the winter and ate gas station food for a while.
21. Patriot Games
My maternal great-uncle worked for the Canadian department of defense during the Cold War and passed from a "heart attack" while stationed in Germany. When my mom told me this, I pointed out that it was very possible that he had a hit put on him because it actually isn't that hard to make it look like someone passed from a heart condition.
My mom dismissed the idea pretty quickly. My grandmother was a nurse at the time and went to ID the body because her sister didn't have the strength to. In private, I brought up my theory and asked her what she thought. She didn't say anything, just nodded, but she gave me this really knowing look.
His passing wasn’t really talked about in the family, but I found out at my grandfather's memorial that I'm the only one, besides my grandmother, who knew his secret.
My paternal great-grandmother was taken advantage of in Belarus, her home country, and became pregnant with her assailant’s baby when she came to Canada. So, my great-uncle was, in reality, my grandfather's half-brother, and his biological father was some dirtbag in the Russian army.
His mom told my great-uncle, and he told me when he was on his last legs. I don't know if anyone else knew, but if they did, they never said anything. When my paternal great-grandparents came to Canada, they were put into internment camps.
I only found out because my great-aunt got sloshed and went on a rant about how the Canadian government wants everyone to forget about residential schools and various kinds of internment camps they ran and supported.
22. Something Wasn’t Right
Many years ago, when I was still just an awkward tween, my brothers and I used to spend a lot of time at our grandparents’ house. We had been raised by our grandparents since we were all little kids; and even after my dad remarried, he and my stepmom both worked graveyard shifts. So, we would very often spend the night at my grandparents’ house while my parents were at work.
One day, my grandmother informed me that it was my grandfather’s birthday, and suggested that I wish him a happy birthday. He was downstairs in the living room sitting on the sofa, and I went up to him and gave him a big hug around the neck and said, “Happy Birthday, Grandpa.” It was kind of difficult to hug a person sitting down, so I ended up kneeling on the sofa between his legs rather than trying to hug him from a standing position.
He was quite happy and gave me a hug back. When I pulled back from the hug, he held me in his arms and gave me a big smile. And then he put his tongue in my mouth. Sometimes, when I was a little kid, we would kiss other family members on the mouth, but those were nothing but chaste pecks on the lips. I could tell immediately that this was different.
His tongue was on my teeth. It lasted only for a moment, and I was grossed out and confused when I pulled away. At that moment, my grandmother walked into the living room. I turned my head around to look at her. My hands were still on my grandpa’s shoulders. She seemed really happy that I had wished my grandfather a happy birthday like a good little kid. I gave him a final quick hug and then scrammed out of the room.
For the rest of my tween and teen years, I was always careful not to be alone in the same room with my grandfather ever again. He passed during my twenties, a good decade ahead of his time due to lifestyle-induced health issues. As I expected, my family chose me to speak at his funeral. I had really complicated feelings about it because I did love him.
My grandma and grandpa raised me, after all. Also, my grandfather was the rock of the family and, after he passed, the three branches of it (my dad and our family, plus his siblings and their families) gradually drifted apart from each other. Nothing would ever be the same between us again. We don’t even spend Christmas all together anymore.
I’ve never told anyone in my family about it because I just couldn’t bear to break my grandmother’s heart. She’s survived her husband for 10 years at this point, and still talks to and about him every day and visits his grave multiple times a week. So, thanks for listening to my very personal story, internet people! It’s nice to finally get that off my chest.
23. Cheating Hearts
I had a very romantic affair with an older married man. It was awesome. I had known this man for a few years and he was very handsome for his age. He was in his 50s and I was 32. He took care of himself and was exceptional in the bedroom. He would whisk me away to different countries and was always a complete gentleman.
I do not condone sleeping with married men or women, and would never do it again. In my defense, he was a good stress release from the abusive on-again-off-again relationship I had with my ex. His wife was an annoying and emotionally abusive Karen, but I believe they’re trying marriage counseling at the moment. Did I mention that he is a politician?
24. Out Of The Picture
My step-father’s great-grandfather and uncles were part of the Gestapo and escaped Germany to the US before the end of WWII. But we found out in an upsetting way.
We uncovered a black and white photo album of them together in their SS uniforms, with many pages of photos from around Germany and France. It was found after the passing of one of my great-uncles. One of my aunts was so mortified she snatched the album, and now no one will talk about it.
25. Who’s The Boss Now?
I came into work one day and a female coworker had been using my computer to Facebook chat. She had gone home and accidentally left her Facebook up. So, seeing how it was my office and my computer, I read through some of the IMs. She had been sleeping with her boss for months and the conversations were VERY intimate.
Oh yeah, my boss is married. In one conversation he laughs about how the female employee left "five minutes before my wife came home". Now, the boss and I are even as far as rank goes, but we rarely get along and haven't for years. I've always thought he was a loser and this confirmed it.
This took place about three years ago. We've had several head-to-head arguments since then and I've always known I could ruin his life if I wanted to, but I've always taken the higher road. He has no idea I have that full conversation still on my computer.
26. The Night Before
My secret is that my cousin slept with an adult dancer during his bachelor party on the night before his wedding. Hours earlier, we randomly ran into his fiance and her friends, and she made a huge deal about not wanting him to go to a gentleman's club specifically because she was afraid of something like this happening.
As it turned out, she was absolutely right to be worried about that. He never told her. Only 3 people know this. Me, him, and the dancer.
27. My Cousin Spilled The Beans
I have an enormous family and live in a decent, average-sized city. My cousins and my nieces, who are my age, and I all ended up at the same private school, which was small. When I was 13, I was at dinner with my nieces and family, and one of them told me one of our cousins was talking about me and spreading rumors. Turns out my niece revealed a shocking secret: I was adopted.
I went home and told my mom about it. She denied it, and we never spoke of it again. I eventually started to learn about genetics in my 8th grade class and started asking my parents questions about the way I looked. Some months later, my mom was pretty hammered. It was just her and me at the house, and my dad was gone.
She came into my room and confessed to me that I was adopted. I have five siblings, and all the people old enough to have remembered my adoption were told not to tell me. My parents wanted to tell me together when I was 18. However, this cousin’s family and mine had a lot of drama. I have my theories as to why my cousin, who would not have been old enough to remember my adoption, was eventually told.
28. Eye Spy
When I was a kid, another kid in my neighborhood once shot me with an airsoft on purpose, even though I wasn't playing with him at the time. So, a little bit later, I wrapped an airsoft pellet in tinfoil and shot the kid in the eye. I hid somewhere where he wouldn’t see me when I did it, so he had no idea who was responsible. He never seemed to figure it out, and nobody else did either.
His eye is permanently damaged, and I believe it’s completely blinded to this day.
29. From Side Hustle To Main Gig
I was recently fired from one of my jobs because they found out I share naughty content on an online subscription service. I told my husband that I was let go because I stood up for myself in front of the wrong people, which was an incident I had been reprimanded for the day before. I paid for my kids' Christmas with that money and I plan to continue so that I can make up for the lost income stream.
30. Russian Revelation
I was recently let in on a shocking family secret. After my paternal grandfather was released from Siberia circa 1953, he couldn't find his family. They had moved to Poland 11 years earlier when he was placed under arrest. So, he met someone else, and they had a daughter. Months later, he found my grandmother. She then went to Russia and convinced my grandfather to leave this woman and baby daughter and come back with her to THEIR three children.
He did and never heard from the other family again. Nobody ever mentioned this to any of us until last year, when my father casually mentioned it as an, “Oh, yeah, by the way, you might have a half-aunt living somewhere in Russia”.
31. Reaching the Breaking Point
My secret is that I attempted to end my mother’s life. She was abusive to me, verbally and also physically. She'd hit me in places no one would see, or rip clumps of my hair out when dad was on the road for work. She probably has a personality disorder. She got in my face one night when I was coming home from my second job, and I had it.
My mom went through whole periods where she just wouldn't work, while I was going insane every summer working over 50 hours a week to pay family bills in my parents' names and also getting my younger sister to all of her activities. I HAD IT. I tried to put my mom's head through a wall. She started screaming, "Oh, help! Help!" and I told her that if she could dish it out, she should also be able to take it.
I shoved her onto the ground and kicked her repeatedly in the abdomen and thigh, while still trying to put her head through the wall with one hand (it's a plaster and lath situation, old-style house in New England). I really messed her up, and it felt good to do so. She has destroyed so many people's lives and she never faces any consequences for it.
No one in our family ever helped me or called the authorities when she would torment me. The only one who ever helped was the dog. If the dog was awake when my mom tried to start something, she would get between us and growl at her until she backed down. I had always shown restraint and never hit her until this night. Nevertheless, my dad did call 9-1-1 on me when I crossed that line.
The officers got there and split us up for interviews. I explained my side of the story and then just blurted out, "Where were you jerks when I was 8 years old and she was doing that to me??" The officer was taken aback. I think he could tell that I was being honest and that it was a culmination of years of trouble and pain. He went back and spoke to his partner, before saying "I think this isn't an assault, I think it's a mental illness thing."
Then, they basically intimidated my mom and dad into agreeing with them. They wouldn't let it go until they had both agreed that it was a medical issue. So, they called an ambulance and I went to the hospital as part of a "diversion program." Basically, they sent me to detox for three days and I emerged with no record, no charges, and no anything else either except a script for Prozac and a recommendation for therapy (paid for by the state low-income insurance plan).
Trying to kill my mom probably saved my life, honestly. I got myself some useful tools from a professional therapist, and it helped me become a more balanced person in the long run. That being said, I'm not stupid enough to want people to know about it. Who would ever date me? How would I ever get promoted at work?
Anyway, the moral of the story is to be kind to people. You never know what someone has been through, and you never know what people are capable of when pushed far enough.
32. Facebook Family
I found out my father isn't my biological father.
My real father passed a few years back and I never got to meet him while he was alive. Apparently, my mother was in love with him and once my parents split for a brief period in the early '80s I was conceived. Once I was born, my mother left him and continued with my father.
The twisted part? Nobody knows I know, and I found his kids and family on Facebook (I haven't spoken of this to them or sent a friend request). Occasionally when I'm feeling down I go view their profiles and see how their lives are going. So I have two younger half-siblings I've never met. I doubt they know I exist.
I'm scared of telling my folks I know in fear of reigniting fires that have burned out or hurt our relationship deeply.
33. Filet Of Fishiness
When I was a kid, we went to California on a vacation. My father's company paid for us to stay at the Ritz Carlton. I was probably about eight or nine years old, and they sent me on a deep sea fishing trip for the day, and I caught a fish. We brought the fish back to the hotel, and because the Ritz Carlton is such a high-class hotel, they offered to filet the fish and bring it up to my room via room service, which they did.
Thirty years later, I found out that the fish I caught was no good, and they just used one from the hotel. What makes the story funny is that every few years, I would bring up how cool the hotel was on the vacation to filet my fish, and my family just kept this story going.
34. Say What Now?
My deep, dark secret is that I once took a life in self-defense. It was a homeless person; he tried to attack me. That took some therapy to get over, I'll tell you that.
35. Take To The Grave
My father caught my grandfather cheating on my grandmother in the 1990s. For reasons unknown, the lady in question revealed their 40-year affair and gave my father picture proof that she had been dating my grandfather since the 1950s. My grandfather was violent when he was younger, so my father decided to keep the affair a secret to protect my grandmother—but he still used it to his advantage.
My father threatened to show the picture to my grandmother if his father ever became aggressive again. Unfortunately, my father passed before he had the chance to tell her the truth. My grandparents are still married, and this secret would do some crazy damage to our family today—especially since my grandfather now has dementia, and would ironically be blissfully unaware of it all.
36. Too Close for Comfort
My secret is that I once beat someone up so badly that he almost didn't make it...and I kind of enjoyed it.
37. Double Dealings
My great-grandfather led a double life—he had two families. He kept them apart, and neither knew about the other. Both families lived on the same street, had the same number of members, and all of the members had the same names. He kept this up until he passed, and then everything came unraveled. My half-family was surprised when my relatively well-off great-grandfather bequeathed everything he owned to another family with the same name.
Even today, the disparity between the two families is clear in terms of social and economic wealth. The other side has been bitter about it for generations, and rightly so. My grandmother had kept relatively quiet about it until someone in our family started digging through Ancestry.com. After many interesting stories, both sides agreed to meet again a few years ago. We are now in touch fairly regularly.
38. Swipe Right?
A little while back I downloaded Tinder to try it out. The tenth woman who came up was a friend's wife.
39. They Messed with the Wrong Guy
My secret is that I have ended the lives of two men. They tried to rob me with a knife, but I always carried a pocketknife and I struck first. After I got the first guy in the gut, the other guy pushed me against the wall and tried to hit me, but I managed to get him in under the rib cage before he could do anything. It was all over the local newspaper and I still have nightmares about it.
40. The Truth Came Out
I was about 15 when I realized that my grandfather was gay and that he wasn't allowed to discuss or reveal this to my siblings or me. The thing about this situation was that he wasn't really great at hiding it. I was just that oblivious and believed the excuses my parents made. He used to volunteer at a theater, which explained what my parents dubbed his "Halloween" closet.
In reality, Grandad was into drag. He worked at a health clinic helping HIV/AIDS patients, which totally explained the books on his bookshelf, like Men on Men. I figured the books helped him relate to his patients or something. Then there was the giant two and half-meter (eight-foot) painting of a shirtless fireman over his bed. I actually don't remember how I explained away that one.
One day, my boyfriend mentioned something offhand about my grandfather being gay, and it was like a lightbulb the size of the sun went off—the rainbow bumper stickers, the books, the fireman painting. He passed a decade or so ago, and I wish I'd been closer to him. He did a lot of really amazing things for the gay community that he lived in, and I didn't even know about most of it until after he was gone.
41. Secret Shopper
Almost 20 years ago, when I was about nine years old, I used my mom’s credit card information to buy some toys from a random website. The site was obviously 100% fake but I was a kid and didn’t know much about anything at the time. The next day, my mom freaked out when she found out that there was a $500 transaction she didn’t make.
The people at her bank wanted to look at my computer, but, thankfully, she told them that I couldn’t have done it because I didn’t know anything about credit cards or online shopping. Just a few days before my little mistake, she had been traveling, so to this day, she believes that someone in Perú had taken her credit card information.
42. This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Two of Us
My secret is that I'm in love with a taken man. I've never loved any other man but him in my life, and I know that I won't ever fall in love with anybody else again.
43. He Kept On Truckin’
My uncle was married about eight times and had two kids. However, after he passed, we found out that, apparently, he had seven kids from different relationships we didn't even know about.
He was a truck driver in the 90s and drove all over the US. He had affairs with different women in other states. We found out about the other kids from Ancestry, and I have since met a couple of them.
44. Oh, You Beautiful Doll
I will never let anyone know that I used to have one of those expensive and fancy life-sized “girlfriend” dolls that you see in movies and cartoons. I got rid of it at the first possible opportunity as soon as I got a real partner. Nevertheless, it remains the one thing in my life that I am not willing to ever tell anyone I know about.
45. Forbidden Love
One of my good friends' wives is in love with me. They have been married and have three kids, and she has told me that she is willing to leave all of that to be with me. If that info got out, I know at least four people whose lives would be turned upside down. Doesn't make it better that I'm a chick and am 15 years younger than she is.
46. Grandma Spilled The Beans
My grandmother on my dad’s side became pregnant when she was 15 years old, years before my dad was born. She got a back-alley abortion because my great-grandfather would have made her keep it for sure. She told me when she got REALLY tipsy a few years back. My aunt and I are the only ones that know; even my dad doesn’t.
47. Secret Snacker
I had food intolerance until I hit puberty. For the first 13 years of my life, I could only eat chicken, potatoes, rice, beans, and bread. I was not allowed to eat anything else—and no spices either. So every time there was an event or a party, I would bring my own chips and that was all that I was allowed to eat.
Eventually, though, I would eat what the other kids were eating. From there it developed to taking banned foods from the supermarket so that I could them out myself. I did this for many years until the doctor told me I no longer have food allergies. If I had been caught back then it would have backfired pretty hard on me.
48. No Escaping The Truth
When my grandmother was 16 years old, my grandfather bought her from her mother. She escaped once, and my great-grandmother came back to live with them to ensure that she would never escape again. My grandfather was 30 years older than my grandmother, and he had a whole other family that lived in a different country.
49. Not The Sharpest…
I teach high school.
A solid C student who is a good kid with not quite enough sense comes up to me after class. "Mr. Deradius, I was fishing this morning and forgot I had this in my pocket. I wanted to do the right thing".
My eyebrows instantly raised—he proceeded to hand me a pocket cutter,
The district has a zero-tolerance policy. It's unclear what will happen to this kid (depends on whether it has happened before), but it will be some pretty bad mojo.
The last thing I want is for this kid to learn first-hand at this point in his life that doing the right thing will get you fed into the wheels of a terrible bureaucracy where you will then be ground into dust. I knew I had to find a way around this.
So I told him about the policy and what would happen to him if I weren't me. Then I put the cutter in my pocket (wondering to myself if I'll get fired if I'm caught with it) and give it back to him at the end of the day, with a statement along the lines of: "I never saw this, you're going to go straight home and never bring this back to school, and we're never going to speak of this again".
Very, very rarely do I break or bend any rules or laws. I drive five miles under the speed limit. I felt guilty even doing this. But in this case, I could not in good conscience turn this kid in for doing what he was supposed to do.
50. Literal Family Ties
I found out that my grandmother used to be my dad’s wife before she was my grandmother. My father’s mother, my true grandmother, passed when my father was 21. My grandfather never remarried. My father married a woman named Robin and had two children—Jason and Clay. My father and Robin divorced shortly after Jason was born.
Soon after their divorce, my grandfather married my dad’s ex-wife, Robin. Nobody spoke of this until my grandfather passed, and my two half-brothers showed up at the funeral. It was weird to find out I had 49 and 46-year-old brothers. Thank God Robin and my grandfather never had children, otherwise I’d have a tough time finding birthday and holiday cards, specifically for Bruncles and/or Auntsters.
51. Prom Crashers
When I was a senior in high school, I went to prom with a group of friends. I had bought a single ticket, not a couple’s ticket. One of my friends knew a guy who wanted to go to our prom but couldn’t because he went to a different high school, so I let him walk in next to me and pretended he was my date. Thankfully, nobody looked closely enough at my ticket to realize it wasn’t for two people.
52. Cleaned Out
While we were giving her last rites at the hospice, I discovered that my grandmother's house wasn't looted by strangers. It was my crazy estranged aunt, who everyone assumed was still locked up at a mental facility. She took everything—jewelry, heirlooms, handmade cedar trunks full of handmade quilts, my grandfather's medals, cash, savings bonds, the will, the safe, toilet paper, and the light fixtures.
The absolute worst part was that she had everything hoarded into her rental apartment, had a psychotic break, doused the entire house in gasoline, threw a Zippo down the stairs, and climbed in bed. Obviously, that made for a deadly situation. The fire department rescued her by cutting the window out of the second story. All six trunks—one for each of the children—were destroyed.
The entire complex of about six apartments was a total loss. They didn't know she had everything until the Marshall contacted my mother. Thousands of dollars and priceless heirlooms were just gone because of one woman's crazy selfishness. My grandmother had written her out of the will years prior for attempting to poison her.
That's the reason I never saw her after I was about six. I didn't find out until my oldest cousin, who knew Grandma had left us all cash boxes, asked me if I ever received mine. I said "no", and she said, "Well, you can thank Aunt Crazy again for that one".
53. I Got You, Bro
Me and my identical twin brother are both juniors at our uni, he's a outgoing, social frat who's always the life of the party and drowning in poon. I, on the other hand, find solace in the quieter things, a small, close group of friends, picnics at the park, low-key get-togethers at my girlfriend's house, nothing large, unlike my bro.
Well, one night my bro had too much to drink and just started to go a-wall. He got into some fights, threw a TV through the window in his frat house…
And got caught on camera sucking face with a guy.
First off lemme say that I don't have anything wrong with gay people, they're no different than heterosexuals. Me and my brother were both raised this way by our parents and he shares the same view. However, his socialite status would shatter if he was discovered to be the dreaded, earth-shattering, dog-kicking, male-into-males that all of his "in-crowd" friends blindly hated.
So I did what any loving brother would do, I told everyone that it was me, not him. My friends and girlfriend knew the truth, and didn't care honestly, however, my brother was amazed I would do something like that. Seeing his face light up like that made all the jokes and ridicule worth it!
Twins-From the womb to the tomb!
54. Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
My mom lied about how my dad passed. My brother and I were told he had lost his life to cancer. He wrote us each a letter stating his goodbyes, and I still have mine. When I turned 18, the horrifying truth came out.
He lost his life in a murder-suicide with his wife—my stepmom—and her lover, who was also his psychiatrist. It turned out his wife was cheating on him with his doctor. My dad had manic bipolar depression. He was prone to extreme anxiety and paranoia when he was off the correct medication.
The doctor purposely prescribed him medication that worsened his paranoia. My stepmom was the one who initially had the idea about the doctor prescribing the medication in the first place. When he found out about the affair and all the evidence, his already broken mind completely snapped.
He blasted them both and then himself.
55. You Can’t Pray A Lie
In my junior year of high school, I had to write a six-page paper on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Ugh. During Spring Break, I found out that my sister had the same assignment two years prior. I asked if I could use her paper, which she had got a 91% on, and she told me it was fine as long as I denied that she had anything to do with it if I got caught.
So I changed about 30 words to better fit my writing style, updated the MLA format to the present (it had changed slightly in those two years), and copied it into a new document (in case the metadata was ever looked into). I ended up getting a 99% on it and aced the course. My sister, to this day, still claims I owe her one.
56. No Show
My wife's grandmother, who raised her, believed that when you are about to die your deceased relatives show up to bring you to heaven. She was by all accounts a horrible person. On her deathbed her last words were, in a quiet terrified voice, "They're not coming".
57. Like Father, Like Son?
When I was a senior in high school, I started dating a guy a year younger than me. Right before we split he confessed that his dad and my mother had an affair.
I didn't believe it until I confronted her one day and she admitted it. She begged me not to tell my father. 14 years later I still haven't, but I was spoiled and used it as blackmail every chance I got.
58. A Chilling Letter
I am currently cleaning out the attic and getting the house ready to sell due to divorce after 40 years of marriage (my husband cheated…twice). I found a box of his things from before we met: school report cards, boy scout memorabilia, Archie comics…and something so horrifying I’ll never forget it. I picked up a handwritten letter from his older sister. I wish I’d never read it.
The letter detailed her intimate relationship with my husband and his best friend throughout his high school years. She wrote that she wanted him to think of her every time he was with another woman. And now her lack of warmth towards me throughout our marriage makes more sense.
59. Unexpected Consequences
A year ago, my secret would have been “people finding out that I’m bi”. I lived 36 years of my life as a hetero man with a wife and two kids. Denying that part of my identity did me no favors. In March, I came out to my partner of 16 years. It did not go well. My already fragile marriage was ruined. I may have lost my wife but I didn’t lose anyone else.
My daughters, father, mother—everyone that mattered understood and accepted me. I now have a new partner who loves and accepts me for who I am. I was able to keep the house and I get to co-parent our beautiful girls. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. This won’t work for everyone, but sometimes it’s healthier, to be honest.
60. Pinball Is A Full Contact Sport
My grandfather lost his life in a bar when my father was still a toddler. The official story was that he was jumped over a pinball game. Back then, pinball was taken pretty seriously, I guess. It wasn't until recently that my grandmother made a shocking deathbed confession. She told us that my grandfather had actually taken someone else’s life and buried the body, days before his own demise.
So he was actually targeted in retaliation for a terrible thing that he had committed. Pinball was just the excuse. My grandmother kept this secret for almost 65 years.
61. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
I know for a fact my mother cheated on my father, and who she did it with. However, I know that life is complicated and people don't live in a black-and-white world. Furthermore, I was young and don't know the full context of their relationship. As a child, I was angry, but as I've gotten older I've seen that life is about choices. Sometimes people make bad ones. It doesn't always make them a bad person (I'm not excusing the behavior). It just makes them a person.
My parents are long since divorced for other reasons, but here's the plot twist—my dad is still madly in love with my mom. It would crush him and my younger sister if he ever found out. I'd rather my father continue to reminisce on the good times he and my mother had rather than tarnish everything because 'I need to tell someone'.
62. On The Hunt
When I was young, somewhere between the ages of eight and 12, my parents told me that my uncle had been in a hunting accident. Apparently, my uncle had been out deer hunting, and on his way to the deer blind, he had to climb over a chest-high barbed wire fence.
When he did, the piece that he had holstered on his hip was somehow snagged, and it fired a round through his foot. He ended up having to have multiple surgeries and now walks with a cane. It sounded like a slim chance sort of situation, but this is what I was told and what most of my family believed. The truth, however, was much darker.
It just came to light that he was actually targeted by a dealer. Apparently, my uncle hadn't been paying up, and he had had a serious problem that had been going on for 15 years.
I used to get along with most of my coworkers, but not this one particular person. To say I hated her would be an understatement. This one time, she took her wedding ring off and left it on her desk at work. What I did next was absolutely heinous.
I found it and sold it for gold at the pawn shop. Unfortunately, I only got like $60 bucks for it.
64. Bed Of Lies
My friend's husband is under the impression that he is the first person she’s been with. She cheated on him a couple of months into their relationship. Now they're married, he has no idea and is one of the nicest people ever which makes it worse.
65. Which Witch Is Which
My mother-in-law is hyper-Christian and very anti-LGBTQ+. She is very proud of her relation to a Salem witch trials judge. I am married to her amazing son and his parents have no idea that I’m bi, agnostic-ish, and a witch. My husband knows this and totally supports me but she has no clue. I occasionally attend Bible study with her for the gossip and connections.
66. Would-Be Whistleblower
I used to work in a chain hotel in the burbs of a Midwestern city while I was in high school. It was a pretty easy job, but there happened to be a government-owned ammo plant down the road that was going through a privatization process. The company that was buying the plant had a lot of their execs stay at our hotel during the process.
Well, one day a guy in a suit comes down late in the evening and asks me if I can fax some documents for him (late 90's alert! Fax machines in use). I ask him if he wants to wait for the confirmation and he says no thanks and just leaves.
Well, I go back to the office and start loading the documents into the fax machine and start browsing through and…holy cow. All the pages I'm sending are reviewing all the malfeasance, gross negligence, and environmental disasters that had been covered up at this manufacturing plant. Crazy stuff was going on like just dumping chemicals into the watershed that fed into the nearby town, chemical "storage" ponds whose dams would break, and on and on and on.
I could have totally screwed up a lot of people's days by making a copy of that and dropping it off at the local newspaper, but I was a coward and just dropped it in the trash bin and went on with my day.
67. All In The Family
Last Christmas I learned that my older sister and I are technically only half-sisters. My sister’s biological father tried to start a relationship with my mom that resulted in a pregnancy and ultimately didn’t work out. That biological father is in heaven now and I didn’t probe into his identity or his demise in case it was painful for my mom.
My mom raised my sister as a widow at my grandmother’s house during the 80s. When she met my father in the 90s, they really clicked. Shortly after, they got married, moved into a new house, and had me. My mom told me to never call my sister my half-sister and just pretend that all of this doesn’t matter. If anyone asks about the 10-year age gap, I just tell them that it’s a long story.
68. Meet The Parents
I was the other guy in an affair. That's bad enough, but I also crossed the line to the point of no return—I ended up getting her pregnant. She gave birth to her in December. The husband still does not know. I regret my stupid decisions and now have to live with my mistakes and the weight that it brings.
I 'made a name for myself' so to say with the mothers of old classmates. I was a booty call for 6 mothers whose children I graduated high school with.
I feel like I’m pretending to be an adult every day. I do not, whatsoever, feel like an adult. I work 40 to 50 hours a week for a multinational manufacturer in a very fast-paced environment, people come to me for answers all day, I own a vehicle and have my own place, and people say things like “You always have your act together” and “You’re so responsible”. But there’s something that they don’t know.
I have bills and responsibilities like every other functioning adult out there, but it feels like I’m pretending. The absolute truth? Ninety percent of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I Google everything. I am incredibly awkward when I talk to people. I feel like I’m just this kid running around playing dress-up with a bunch of real adults.
70. Still In The Closet
I have had affairs with three active and two retired NFL players. I'm a guy. I met the first one through a response to a Craigslist ad and he introduced me to the others.
Three of them are married or engaged to women. Announcing what I've done would ruin several lives, maybe even careers.
71. An Unbreakable Bond
In 2013, it was my first semester of college. I had an anthropology class at 8:30 am and I’m not exactly a morning person. Apparently, this girl I sat next to wasn’t either. It was one of those things where we just saw each other and knew because we were both absolute zombies. We had an unspoken bond: “No one else will understand how much we want to sleep, so let’s just hang with each other”.
We stayed pretty true to that, too. We’d often go for food after class, so, understandably, we got close. But we were both super-religious and thought every form of attraction was some kind of sin. So, as close as we got, we were always kind of awkward with each other. When we got an assignment to go do interviews, it felt natural to go with each other and just help out.
So, we got mine done pretty early in the semester but hers took a bit more planning. We had to drive about two hours to this mountain city where her grandfather lived to talk to him. I didn’t drive at the time, so we took her car. There was about three months’ worth of romantic tension built up between us by then, so the drive was slightly uncomfortable.
Once the interview was completed, we had dinner in a small pub. It was about dusk, and both of us said that we wanted to wander into the forest for a bit before heading back. Just to take in the atmosphere for a while, you know? So we parked by the side of the road and went down into the trees. It was extremely beautiful.
We lived in the desert, where most of the vegetation we were used to was a few palm trees here and there but this was amazing. No sound from the city, no smog from the cars, just people, trees, and silence. She ended up brushing up against me to get past some roots, but in a way that felt almost deliberate. I tested it back by brushing up against her at times when I didn't necessarily need to.
We finally decided to say “screw it” to all our pious fears and just decided to have fun.
I wasn't a virgin at that point, but I had made a lot of really dumb decisions up to that moment, which was why I was as religious as I was. She was a virgin, despite being a few years older than me. There was that feeling that it would last forever and that we would always belong to each other.
Afterward, during our walk of shame to her car, things were obviously awkward. Now, the drive back home was uncomfortable for pretty much the opposite reason as when we were headed up there. The silence gave me a lot of time to think, though. I decided that I was just gonna tell her exactly how much I loved her. Except I chickened out and didn’t say anything.
I don't know why I didn't tell her. I guess because I was freshly 18 and have always been kinda bad with people. It was Friday and I knew I’d see her again on Monday—that would be my moment. Monday came, and I was excited and nervous. I even dressed better than I normally do. She didn't show. We usually didn't question when the other person didn't show, so I didn't think much of it.
When she missed the whole week, I started getting concerned. I tried texting and calling her, but no replies. She missed a second week. That Friday I asked the professor. Turns out, he had just got the news and was going to tell the class before he began the lecture. On the Sunday after our forest escapade, she’d been in a car accident and didn’t make it.
For a while, I didn’t react. I didn’t believe it.
I didn't know anything about her family outside of her grandfather, so I used what I could to find her family. I showed up at her brother’s work. He could see that I was pretty shaken as I spoke, and I could see that he was getting kind of agitated, so we decided to wait until his shift was over to talk. He told me about how happy she was in the days before the accident.
He said that she’d been pretty depressed, but had just started to get out of her room more, was getting along with her parents, and was generally more fun to be around. Then he told me that someone had been driving while inebriated and hit her from behind, wrapping her car around a tree. That was what did it. That was the moment that I really felt the impact.
For days I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t WANT to do anything. I failed all but one class that semester. My entire life was basically falling apart. Through all of it, I never really told my parents, friends, or anyone. All they knew was that I was in a pretty bad place.
I’ve had a few attempts at relationships since, but it was hard for me to not feel guilty whenever I got close to someone because I was still in love with her.
I got rid of my belief in God and His “plan”, because how could I justify her senseless demise at the hands of some irresponsible jerk? Since then, I’ve met someone else who has helped me get over my grief. I’ve been pretty open about my baggage, as she was about hers. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with my existential awareness too, I guess. So I’m in a much healthier place overall.
72. Truth Hertz
I work at a business where the owners have been breaking the law for several years. Let's say it's a car rental, though it isn't. The law says the business is only allowed to lease cars to persons that will use the cars for extended periods, let's say month to month. These leases are also much cheaper than say, a daily rental–$15 monthly vs $13 a day. So the amount of money the business can make is capped.
They've been breaking this rule for I don't know how long, a long time. Leasing the cars for $13 a day sometimes even more when there are a lot of people in town for events, and they need to rent cars.
They make a considerable amount of money. God knows what kind of taxes they've been avoiding from underwriting their profits.
They've been investigated a few times but can provide very primitive fraudulent documents that say they only lease for extended periods.
If I were to turn over the computer files that say otherwise, they would owe a certain city a fortune and have to close their business. I've considered turning them into the authorities or blackmailing them. Why? They don't pay me well. They pay me peanuts.
I probably won't do either though, as I'm almost certain they'd hire some nefarious fellows to harm me and people I care about.
73. Sometimes They Start Young
I accidentally took a bag of shredded cheese from the store. I was seven or eight months pregnant and I had my two-year-old with me. He was sitting in the seat part of the shopping cart. I gave him the bag of cheese to play with and didn’t realize that he somehow ended up sitting on it. As I was loading my groceries and putting him into his car seat, I saw the contraband.
For about two seconds I considered going back into the store to pay for it. I then realized that I was completely OK with being an outlaw. I was also way too tired to walk back into the store at that point. Sixteen years later I’m still sleeping well at night. I now realize why my mom NEVER took us to the store. I’m one of seven kids, so it was her only alone time.
74. Everyone’s Guilty
At the end of eighth grade we all had a giant, I mean a giant project of writing all these papers, including immaculate bibliographies, and putting them in a binder. It was infamous. Even in sixth grade, we all heard horror stories. We technically had all year to do the project, but being eighth-graders we waited till the last possible moment.
Many pulled multiple all-nighters in a row. Kids from the high school who had already completed the project sold their papers and bibliography lists. It was pretty brutal for that level of schooling.
I showed up for school one day and the girl whose locker was next to mine was not present. She was cute and often hit on me so naturally I asked where she was.
She had been expelled. It was a private school with a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism, and the teacher discovered one of her papers had been copied directly from Wikipedia. She was instead-gone, and it was kind of a big deal because her father was a big guy in the city government.
The real tragedy here... all of us plagiarized. All of us. We just changed words and sentences around so that they wouldn't match the Wikipedia articles. She was doing the same thing but forgot to alter that one paper.
75. Nightmare Come True
This happened when I was in the 8th grade. We were taking standardized tests (STAAR, I think) and, as someone who’s both shy and has selective mutism, I’ve never been able to raise my hand in class. Anyway, I had to pee. Badly. There were still about 20 minutes left before the bell would ring, so I figured I could make it. Big mistake.
The pee just started and I could NOT stop it. I just sat there in the classroom, sitting in my own pee, which was also running down my legs. I didn’t move until the bell rang, and everyone left. This one girl I didn’t know stood at the door and really tried to get me to leave. I think she knew what I did and was trying to make fun of me.
Once everyone was out, my teacher asked what was wrong. I started to cry and told her that I had an accident. She told me to wait there, and then she went and got two other teachers. The three of them literally guarded me in the hallway so no one would see my wet jeans as I went to the office.
They gave me a change of pants and I went home. I would just like to give a shout-out to those teachers because, honestly, I’m sure there are teachers out there who have just sent me to the office and not guarded me to save me from the immense embarrassment and ridicule that would have come from getting caught with wet pants.
76. Gave Away The Glory
A girl in my high school took a bunch of advanced placement courses early and pulled far ahead of the class. The yearbook took her photo early senior year to put her in the yearbook as valedictorian.
I took my advanced placement classes later and so near the end of the year, I was informed that I was the valedictorian. They asked me to come in and have my photo taken to replace hers in the yearbook. I would also be replacing her speech at the grad ceremonies. This would have been great news, if not for only one problem—she had been a friend of mine for 13 years: she was in my kindergarten class. No one even knew she was valedictorian, she was so quiet and introverted.
I refused. I refused to take my photo and I refused to give the speech. I wanted HER to have some glory, for once in her life.
They kept her photo but relabeled her as "top senior". And she gave a really good speech. I was happy with the knowledge that I was on top and was happy that she got to shine for one single day in her life.
77. Potluck Hack
Whenever I’m cooking for people or bringing something to a potluck, I put a little more than double the amount of salt called for in the recipes. This means I never have to bring home leftovers because the dishes are scraped clean. Yes, my super-secret confession is salt. I don’t want to get the stink eye from my health-conscious friends.
78. Toupee Secret
Back in the early days of the Internet, I was one of the founders of a company that specialized in creating websites specifically for recording artists. A VERY well-known artist, who wasn't that big of a celebrity in 2000, but still sold out shows, gave me his personal, digital camera to get pictures for his site. This artist was popular enough in 2000 to sell out arenas but got famous enough to sell out stadiums a few years later.
On the camera, there were SEVERAL intimate photographs—not just of him, but of his band and other well-known artists.
The worst (for him) had him and a member of his band in bed, cuddling. You could only see it was the camera's owner via a reflection in a mirror—but it was him and his blonde bandmate. There were other pics of him giving the same band member shoulder massages and photos of them close. Plus, there were a few pictures of him without his toupee. Not very attractive.
But, what would have destroyed him and his other VERY famous recording artist friends was the heavy substance use that was photographed backstage at some concerts and at some recording sessions. It's no surprise that when I met with him to talk about his site, he was sweating like a pig.
I copied all of his photos to a CD and kept them for a while. I showed them to a few friends when no one believed me after I told them the tale of the pics. Then, years later, I felt guilty and destroyed my copy of the CD. I left the company in late 2002 though. I hear they still have the pictures on their drives.
79. Well, That Was Unexpected
When my sister was going through a mental health crisis she decided to spill all of my secrets to our family and friends. She resented the fact that I was trying to convince her to get help and she felt that exposing me would take the heat off of her. She was trying to deflect attention from herself and if she was going down, she was going to take me with her.
She exposed a lifetime’s worth of sins and regrets that I would change if I could go back in time. Nothing I did was against the law, but some people would consider it immoral. It was very personal stuff that I never wanted to share. Well, everybody knows now! It opened up conversations that I never intended to have with our family.
I offered to have an open dialogue with our family and answer any questions but no one cared. Well, my sister’s plan completely backfired on her.
In fact, I received love and support while she’s been completely ostracized by most of our family. They found her behavior to be self-righteous and deplorable. Being found out didn’t ruin me, it freed me.
80. Happy Families
When I was a sous chef, we had an open line with seating on the other side. There was this stereotypical rich executive type who would always come in and sit there, and he always had a different woman with him.
Then he started coming in with his wife and young son (5-7) but still kept coming in with random women too. His wife seemed like your stereotypical trophy wife, and they didn't have a lot of love left between them. The whole thing was almost comical, to see two people with so much money so unhappy with their lives.
The thing that bothered me was watching the sleazeball grooming the son to be another slimy human being. I always wanted to tell the kid what a piece of trash his father was, regardless of how financially successful he was.
81. Time To Embrace Neurodiversity
I am autistic with hyper emotionalism and near-savant level “hobbies”, which I never tell anyone I am good at. I hate the way my brain is because it has driven so many people away from me. All my life, my mom has told me that she is thankful that she and my dad had me because I’m so difficult that anyone else would have bumped me off.
She says that they love me for my issues and difficulties and cried with me when I couldn’t handle the feelings or sensory stimulation I had. I hate it. I just wish I was normal. I don’t want the IQ or the “Oh wow, you must be a genius”! No, I just have a brain malformation that makes it seem like I’m a genius on an IQ test.
When I have been put in a social situation without my medication, I’ve been called crazy, weird, a bad friend, and egotistical because I can’t stop talking about my specific “hobbies”. My secret is that sometimes I tell people I have Borderline Personality Disorder because I’d rather have people think that I have something that can be fixed.
It sucks that this is actually who I am and I’m just a screwed-up person. The only people who have ever loved me for all my weirdness and craziness, other than my mom, are my spouse and her daughter. Somehow, they just think my weirdness is endearing. They’re amazing actually. I just don’t like to embarrass them and stuff.
82. Mum’s The Word
I donated my eggs to a friend years before I had my daughter and the result was a set of twins. My family doesn’t know because they won’t understand that these are not my kids/their grandkids/their niece/nephew.
If they find out everything will explode and they will probably pester my friend, wanting contact. So I am waiting til my parents pass to tell my brother, since he can’t keep his mouth shut.
83. The Bad Old Days
Back in the 90s, when I was about six or seven years old, I was abruptly woken up by my mom saying that two kids from my class were at our front door with their mothers. They had told their moms that our teacher had inappropriately touched them and they wanted to speak to everyone in the class before going to the authorities.
That night, my mom asked me if our teacher had ever done anything to me and I told her no. She was so relieved. I will never forget how terrified she was right up until I said no. My dad was with me when I gave my statement to the authorities and I again said nothing happened. I lied. I was just so terrified of getting into trouble and upsetting my parents.
The case went to court and the teacher was found not guilty as there was no evidence. Mind you, this was a long time ago when kids were not believed as easily as they are now. I have spent the past 27 years of my life keeping this secret and trying to block out most of the memories.
Before the accusations, this teacher had wanted to take me and two other girls on a weekend trip to a nature reserve. Thank God my mom refused. I have vague memories, but I always wondered if my testimony would have made a difference. Am I the reason he never went to prison? I am terrified he went after more victims because I stayed silent.
84. How Am I Doing?
My biggest secret is that I'm terrified by how much other people's approval motivates everything that I do in my life. I try to play it cool, but I care about popularity more than your average high school student probably does. I'm 30 years old. I'm also absolutely obsessed with the idea that I'm homely, and I fantasize about being beautiful.
85. None Of Your Business
When I was ten, one of my school friends always told us that her dad was away on a long business trip, but one night on the local news I saw a piece about him. He was incarcerated for embezzlement and wasn't released until we were 20.
My mom made sure I knew that I had to keep this quiet and not tell anyone at school or in our friend group, or else I could make this poor girl's life completely miserable.
It came out when we were in middle school anyway and it still made her life miserable, but at least I delayed it a few years.
When I was a kid, I once ate a grape at the grocery store. My mom never bought them because they were too expensive. I just wanted to know what they tasted like.
87. A Very Difficult Decision
When I was 17 and pregnant for the second time, I decided to give the second child up for adoption. I was so scared and I already had a child who was a little over a year old. I didn’t even get to see my son after he was born. I spent the next two weeks bawling. That’s when I made a devastating realization. I had to take him back.
I had to go to this poor woman’s house and get him. Seeing her heartbroken face was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In my heart, my heartbreak was worse. Maybe that makes me selfish but he came from my body and I couldn’t imagine a world without him. When I got home, my mom kicked me out and had my stuff on the lawn.
I ended up getting my act together and working 80 hours a week to support myself and my babies. It felt got to figure out my life. My son is now 23 and amazing. I don’t regret my choice at all, but I live in fear of my kids somehow finding this out. I don’t want them to ever know, especially my son. I’m afraid he will think I didn’t want him.
88. The City of Motherly Love
You know those stories about girls in the ‘70s who “went to live with an aunt” for a year during high school? I did that. In 2008. I was a very naive teenager who was still just getting used to the way her body worked, and my friend thought it would be absolutely hilarious to buy a few of those cheap pregnancy tests from Walmart and see what happened.
We laughed the whole time, until one of them came out positive. We couldn’t remember which one was which, so we got 2 more and it turned out it was mine. That was when it dawned on me: I had recently slept with someone. My school did not offer any kind of reproductive education and my parents were useless in that regard, so it was completely possible that I had not used my protection properly. I panicked and swore my friend to secrecy.
I basically put it out of my mind until my clothes didn’t fit anymore. I was always close with my older cousin and we were talking on the phone one night when she asked how school was going. I just broke down and dumped all of it on her. She calmed me down and then came up with the perfect plan. It was already April and, when I’d finally gotten up the courage to go to a Planned Parenthood, they’d told me that I was due in August. So, my cousin called my mom saying that there was this amazing summer music program in her town that I just HAD to attend, and that I could stay with her the whole time.
My mom thought it was great and the day after school ended, I got on a plane to San Francisco. I stayed with my cousin, she went to all of my appointments with me, and she helped me find a social worker and eventually my daughter’s future adoptive parents. When I arrived back home before my junior year of high school started, my mom asked me how my summer was without really caring and then remarked that I must have lost a few pounds.
My cousin lost their life in 2012 in a car accident, and no one else knew about this whole thing apart from that one friend, the doctors I saw in Oakland, and the people involved in the adoption. I get a photo and a letter about the child once a year, and I send money for her college and a card for her birthday every year. When she turns 16, her parents are allowed to give her the cards if she wants them, but they are not permitted to pass any contact information along.
I have no interest in meeting her or getting to know her personally. I know she’s safe and comfortable, and that’s all I want. I will die before I tell anyone about her, and if my friend were to ever spill the beans I would simply deny it.
89. Don’t Ruin The Illusion
While setting up the email on my father-in-law's iPhone, a questionable text came in from a woman he works with. I clicked on the message and discovered a history of texts going back almost a year. They were secretly meeting up before and after work. My mother-in-law leaves very early for her nursing job, so this lady was coming by later in the morning to "drive him to work".
My in-laws have been married for 34 years and are very religious. My wife and her siblings had a fairytale childhood, and telling anyone would tear the family apart. The ONLY reason I can keep this secret, is because I don't know if my wife would recover from finding out what a horrible person her dad is. I've thought about confronting him privately, but I don't know where to even begin.
90. Confuse Thy Father and Thy Mother
Every year, I secretly write my parents a Christmas card signed by "Sarah and Michael" just to mess with them. Obviously, they have no idea who those people are, and so they spend a large chunk of every Christmas Day trying to figure it out.
91. Get Thee To Therapy
There’s a big gap on my resume—and the reason why is seriously twisted. My wife and I tried to end our lives together and wound up in the hospital for a couple of weeks. I don’t know if it would ruin our lives if it became public, but it would complicate things. After the first month of caring about our mental health, our close family went back to the mindset of “If I can't see your mental illness, it’s not a true illness”.
92. A Family Matter
My secret is that my mom is in a relationship with her somewhat distant cousin. Yes, we call him Tio (Spanish for uncle). Yes, he lives with us. And yes, I find it disgusting. I have done everything I can to hide it from people I know. It is extremely embarrassing. Fortunately, my mom and dad are not related.
93. The Heart-Breaking Truth
My grandmother always told us her dad was a firefighter who had a heart attack at age 35 and passed and her mom had told her a whole story down to the exact street corner he had the heart attack on and I never thought about it, except it did seem a little strange that no one else in our family had any history of heart disease, much less an early demise from it.
When she had terminal cancer, her last wish was to be buried next to him, but she didn't know where he was buried so I told her I would try and help. I did a bunch of research and found out that he actually didn't pass from a heart attack, but instead just left my great-grandma, moved to LA, remarried, and had a new family. He passed there some 30 years after my grandma thought he did.
I never told my grandma that her dad abandoned her- her last memories of him were good ones and she ended up in an orphanage after that so he did ruin her life.
I'm curious to meet his new family, but I don't think they'd be interested to know he never divorced my great-grandma, so his marriage to their mom was never actually valid.
94. Hiding Your True Feelings
My big secret is the extent to which I hate myself and my life. I think about death a lot, but never tell anyone because there is a very real possibility of me losing my job if I do. It’s a pretty bad situation to be stuck in. I desperately need help, but can’t actually seek it or be open about my issues because I would be risking some very serious repercussions.
95. The Cat’s Out Of The Bag
When I was five, I would regularly get the family cat to attack my little sister when she was in her baby walker device. I hated her and I wanted to get rid of her, so I tried to get the cat to get rid of her.
Ultimately, the cat just ended up scratching at her feet and my parents got rid of the cat. They gave it to one of their friends.
96. With Friends Like Those, Who Needs Enemies
My secret is that I was physically attacked in the youth room of my childhood church by my two best friends at the time. We were basically alone in the building when it happened. One did it, and the other held me down. They thought it was a funny joke, even once I started screaming. One of them eventually had a moment of clarity and I suppose realized that what they were doing was wrong. At that point, they made the other person stop, and then they both sat there with me for a few minutes until I had calmed down.
Once I regained my composure enough to stand up, I racked one of them between the legs with a pool cue. Their parents were waiting for us in the parking lot, and they were going to call the authorities on me when they discovered what I had done. Finally, my friends confessed what they had done to their parents. I was then pressured into silence by the pastor at the parents' behest.
I've told some people about this over the years, so I guess it's not technically a secret. Nevertheless, people have generally not believed me when I’ve spoken about it, because I'm a big guy and always have been. The last person I tried to talk to about it actually smacked me in the face for even suggesting that such a thing could have happened, so I guess one way or another I'll be dying with this one as my lifelong secret.
97. Who Knew?
When I was a kid, I remember my dad reading me The Grinch after I begged him to, and he fell asleep in bed next to me. The next day, my mom said he was in the hospital, and he had been there for a little while. I remember visiting him and asking why he wasn’t home. It wasn't till I was in my teens that I realized the horrifying truth of that night. My dad had taken sleeping pills that night and had almost lost his life in the bed beside me when my mom found him unresponsive. He survived, but the knowledge that I could have woken up to my deceased father has always stuck with me.
98. A Different Part of the World
The secret that I will take to my grave is the fact that I am bisexual. I live in Russia where it is not really possible to admit something like that without facing serious consequences. I’m not prepared to go down that road.
99. Mystery Man
I worked in McDonald's before I went to university. There was this one man who came through the drive-thru—he was in his late 30s and was clearly a farmer from the look of his vehicle and his dog in the back. He was always pretty quiet, but I remember a couple of times that he tried to make nice small talk. When I worked on New Year's, he asked me how things were and said I should be out having fun my age.
I remember thinking he always seemed really lonely or sad when he drove through since he'd always try to carry a conversation with me. I felt bad having to be quick with him because he just seemed like he wanted someone to talk to. Long story short, he drove through one day and asked if my last name was what he thought it was. After a sideways glance from my manager, I said it was.
He looked really sad and took his hat off. Then he said something that shocked me to my core. He told me that he was my dad. My biological mother didn't know who my dad was, so it was possible. My manager let me go on break to speak with him. He then explained that he slept with my mother around the time that she got pregnant, and he was only 16. He was really apologetic and also seemed ashamed of what he did.
He told me he was sorry he didn't seek me out. He was from a town about an hour's drive away, so that was a part of it. And no one ever showed up to tell him he was a dad or anything. I told him I was happy with my life, but I still gave him my number and told him to give me a ring sometime. So yeah, that's how I met my dad. My biological dad, I should say.
After a few years when I heard from my biological mother again, she agreed that he was who she thought the father was. We went out for coffee three or four times, but we didn't have much to talk about. He and I never really maintained contact—the last time we spoke, he told me he'd been diagnosed with MS. He had a couple of sons, but I was his only daughter and he said that he was grateful we had met.
100. She’s Alive!
I grew up with an older brother and sister. I was the baby by quite a few years. I loved them both but always got along with my brother better. Around the time my sister had gone to college and my brother was heading off to college, I stopped getting visits from him and nobody would talk about him. No matter how much I asked, neither my parents nor my sister would talk about it.
All his pictures were taken down, and my extended family knew nothing. I honestly thought he was no longer alive or my parents had chopped him up into pieces and hid him in the floorboards. The brutal truth made me see my parents in a whole new light. It turned out that my brother is transgender and was now my sister. It took until I was about 17 or 18 for my parents to finally tell me.
My other sister still won't talk about it. I'm just so happy she's alive, well, and actually happy now. We get to see each other more often, and we're even closer now. I don't know if I'll ever forgive my family for hiding it from me. I never got the choice to be there for her or for her to be there for me. I still can't believe they did that to her.
101. Five More Minutes
When I was 15 years old, I was lying in bed one morning when I heard my dad coming up the stairs. Being a typical teenager, a conversation with my dad first thing in the morning was not something that I could be bothered with, so I pretended to be asleep. I heard my dad come into my room and stand at the end of my bed in silence. I waited, expecting him to say something, but he just stayed right where he was and didn’t say or do anything.
This went on for an oddly long amount of time. After about 5 or 6 minutes, he left the room and I just thought to myself, “Good thing he finally left! What was he doing staring at me? That weirdo!” My dad then walked downstairs, continued out the front door of our house, and drove off. They found his body 3 days later. It turned out that those 5 or 6 minutes in my bedroom was him taking a last look at his son before he took his own life.
Ever since then, my darkest (and guiltiest) secret has been the fact that I spent my last ever time in the presence of my dad thinking that he was a weirdo.
102. Misplacing The Blame
Once, in high school, I got really sloshed and secretly took a dump in a friend’s car. The consequences were disturbing.
He ended up being so convinced that his girlfriend did the dirty deed that he ended up breaking up with her over it.
103. The Worst Day of All Time
This is something that I should probably have told my best friend about a long time ago, but I just don’t have the heart to break it to him. Only an hour before his girlfriend lost her life in a car accident, I saw her at my job making out with the captain of the track team (my best friend’s cousin). It’s now been eight years since the accident, but I still can’t tell him about it. It would destroy him emotionally, and I can’t do that to him.
He was planning to propose to her that day, too…
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