People Share Dark Secrets They Wish They Never Knew

People Share Dark Secrets They Wish They Never Knew


Secrets are a part of everyone’s lives. Whether it’s a small truth you’re keeping from a friend or family member, or a bigger secret that you guard closely, we all have something we’d rather keep hidden. In this compilation, individuals from all walks of life share the most shocking secrets they’ve stumbled upon or wish they’d never uncovered. These tales range from unbelievable to jaw-dropping, offering a glimpse into the secrets that exist within our communities and among those we thought we knew well. Get ready to be intrigued and possibly even surprised as you read through these incredible stories.

1. Who’s Your Daddy?


My good friend, who is 28 and has two siblings in their mid-20s, also has a 15-year-old little brother. The little brother is only a half-brother but doesn’t know. Their mom moved out when the kids were in middle school, lived with another man for a year, and the man left her when she got pregnant.

The dad took her back in and raised the now 15-year-old as his own. Of course, the older siblings knew because they were in middle school at the time, so it was pretty obvious because of the timing. The parents have actually asked that they not tell the little brother, though, because they don’t want him to feel less loved by his “dad.”

2. Globe-Trotting Tramp


I grew up in a very conservative Christian home with two loving parents who were insistent on my going to church three times a week. My mother led devotions every morning and made sure we were aware of what the Bible taught about relations, marriage, obedience, etc.

When I was 18, I found my mother’s phone—but when I opened it, I made a disturbing discovery. I found some pretty trashy text messages between her and a man who was not my father. I confronted her, and she denied it.

When it was finally brought to my father’s attention, we found out that not only was she cheating on my dad but was sleeping with people professionally. She even had clients in Paris and Sweden, along with a few boyfriends in the USA. Talk about having a childhood illusion shattered.

3. The Truth Was In Transition


My parents split up when I was about two, so I don’t remember anything. When I grew into my elementary years, my dad came back, had a new wife—my stepmom—and was very religious. As a result, and much to my mother’s chagrin, I became very religious as well.

She never spoke ill of him, nor he of her, and I never asked why they split up. It was at a point in time when there were enough single-parent households that it really didn’t matter. When I was in my teens, my dad and I had a falling out—and the reason why is downright despicable.

My two best friends, who I loved more than just about anything, both came out to me as gay, and I was floored because I was taught they were going to burn with the devil. I confronted my father about my doubts, but he affirmed with no question that they were, indeed, going to if they didn’t change their ways.

I ended up leaving the church because of this conflict, deciding that this ideology didn’t mesh with the loving God he’d told me about. He and I eventually had a huge falling out that ended in us not speaking for over a decade.

During that time, my mother dropped a couple of hints that she knew secrets about my dad that I didn’t. I found out that my mom was his second wife, but she never fessed up to what the secret was. I assumed that, somewhere, I had another half-sibling but didn’t care enough to press anyone for answers.

Years later, just after Christmas, I got a call from a friend who rented from my mom. My mom had a cardiac event and was in the hospital. As I was frantically packing for an eight-hour drive, I heard things from him that surprised me…but didn’t shock me.

It turned out that earlier that evening, my mother was visited by my stepmother, who came to wish her a Merry Christmas and announce that she and Dad had officially divorced. The secret that had shattered my mom’s marriage and, apparently, his first marriage as well had destroyed his most recent marriage, too.

My dad was transgender. At nearly 60 years old, she decided enough was enough, and she couldn’t keep living a lie any longer. She decided to pursue hormone therapy and an operation for surgical transition. She had already changed her name—her last wife helped him pick it out—and she was just updating my mom on what was going on.

My stepmother left, Mom went back into her house, and immediately was onset with chest pains and called an ambulance. She was diagnosed with broken heart syndrome, a form of cardiomyopathy. My mother fully recovered, and she confessed everything to me while in her hospital bed.

My dad is now happily post-op, living with a good friend of hers in Florida and dating a man a little older than her who knows about her surgery and dotes on her anyhow.

4. Take Note—Something’s Off


When I was about six, I came home from school with my mom, picked up the mail, and put it on the table. Among the letters I saw a note addressed to me that said, “I’ve noticed you looking down lately. Let me take you shopping and cheer you up. Love, Paul.”

Before I had time to process it, my mom snatched it away from my hand—and said something very suspicious: “That’s not for you!”…even though it had my name on it. I didn’t know if I had a creepy stalker when I was six, if my mom was seeing someone and using my name, or if it was anything else.

It seemed really odd at the time, and nothing was said about it for the 17 years since then. Several other occasions later, I found other evidence of weird stuff going on in my mom’s life.

She would hide her phone from me when I walked in the room, rubbers in the bag she used when she was on work trips—my dad had a vasectomy in 1990—so I guess cheating wasn’t beyond her, but why that note had my name on it? I still have no idea.


5. No Explanation


A year after my parents divorced, my father took early retirement, sold the house, and moved with his mother from Ohio to Florida. All of this was very sudden and rushed; he accepted the first offer that was made on the house. He passed 18 months later. In his effects, we found his medical records—and that’s when we learned the heartbreaking truth.

He had pancreatic cancer, did nothing to treat it, and never told a soul. He found out, retired, moved someplace warm, and waited. I also found his medals from his time in the Marines, including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. My father was the poster child for PTSD.

A few years later, Grandma and I had a real heart-to-heart. She said I never really met the real him, a piece of him never really left Vietnam. He expired a broken and depressed man and told no one he knew that his time was up.

6. He Sold The Farm


I always assumed my hardscrabble tenant farmer maternal grandfather had never been able to own his own farm. Later, I learned the dark truth.

It turned out that his son, my uncle, was a gambling junkie and had some debts. They would have cost him, and possibly other family members, their lives had my grandfather not sold his farm to bail my uncle out. I learned this after both of them were gone.

7. Sorry, Not For Me


I told my fiancée on our first date that I didn’t want or like children. I kept saying it for five years, then the worst happened.

She got pregnant and decided to keep it. Now she doesn’t clean, cook, or play with the kid because she is tired, and I’m stuck with all of it. She won’t even teach him to sleep without diapers because she doesn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night, so I have to deal with that as well.

I love my son and would give my life for him, but my dark secret is that this life is not for me. Every day I wish for the end so I can rest and have peace.

8. Secret Bedfellows


I got busy with my best friend’s little sister. My buddy and I shared an apartment, and he was away for the weekend. I got a knock on the door, and there she was. I was so confused as she knew her brother was away. She came in and started crying. She told me about how her boyfriend cheated on her, and they broke up. I just let her vent and gave her a hug. Then I got the shock of a lifetime.

She tried to kiss me, but I pulled away. I was like, “No way.” After saying “No” a bunch of times, she took off her shorts and shirt. She said she had come there to bed me and that no one would ever know. In a moment of weakness and immaturity, I caved in. When I tell you it was good, it is still—to this day—the best nookie I ever had.

We are still best friends, and he has no idea. It was a one-time thing; she used me. She ended up getting married to that same guy, and they have three kids. I am married with two college-aged kids. I saw her at her grandfather’s funeral, and she gave me a wry little smile. No one will ever know, but we’ll never forget.

9.  The Flame That Fed The Fire


I burned down the backyard, and everyone knew it was me. I was seven or eight, had no babysitter, and was experimenting with matches and cotton. I started a backyard grass fire but had no hose. I called my mom crying that hobos threw lit matches over the fence, and I tried to extinguish it. For 22 years, they let me believe I had gotten away with it.

At the time, they seemed to believe me. Mom faked a babysitter, and neighbors whispered, but it all settled down. It turns out that this whole time they knew I burnt down the yard. The fireman knew it, the neighbors, parents, they all just let me believe it and kept it a hilarious inside joke amongst themselves until the night I went to admit it. It was my most important confession, and they all cackled with laughter.

10. What May Not Have Been


When my brother and I were young kids, our mother confessed a tragic secret. Turns out she had been married before meeting our dad. Her husband lost his life in Vietnam or something service-related when she was only 21. It blew our minds that we may not have existed. I now see why we were not told about this sooner. It also explained the mysterious birthday cards we received from “grandma’s neighbor”, who was actually the mother of the deceased.


11. Misjudged Mystery


The real reason my aunt moved back to my hometown was she that was briefly abducted by some bad guys she had screwed over while working as a judge. This guy held her against her will and told her she could either leave town in the next 24 hours or be taken back in. I was about eight at the time, so everyone just told me she moved back because she missed us all. I found out about it when my brother and I were rehashing old stuff ten years later.

12. Something Was Bugging Me


We had a cockroach problem when I was a kid. We kept putting down traps and spraying stuff around the house but could never figure out where they were coming from. As time passed, my parents decided I needed a new mattress for my waterbed, so we drained it. My dad pulled up the mattress and started freaking out at a horrifying discovery. I was in a separate room, so they thought I didn’t hear, but the roach nest was under my waterbed mattress.

It had a pinhole leak which created the perfect environment for them. Since I wasn’t in the room, all I was told was that something went wrong when he was draining it, and water sprayed everywhere. However, I heard them talking quietly about how THAT must have been why I had so many sleeping problems and why cockroaches were crawling on me while I was asleep. I try not to think about it often.

13. No More Chances


A few people are aware that someone I was very close to took their life. He was the kindest man who would travel two hours by train just to meet me for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. He was someone so consistently there for me. I never considered the possibility of him one day being gone because he seemed really happy. But there’s something I’ve never told anybody.

In the few days leading up to his departure, I had several missed calls from him. I watched one of the calls ring without answering it and received a message from him, pleading that I call him when I had the chance. I had many chances, but I didn’t pick up the phone. I woke up later that week to a message that, once pasted onto a Word document, took me two days to read.

He wrote to me about his life, how insignificant he felt, and how wonderful I was, and ended it with an apology. I then received an email from his mother, informing me he had jumped in front of a moving train. I’ve always been a caring person, and I try to do the right thing. However, for the last eight years, I’ve stopped keeping kind thoughts to myself.

The sole reason I check in on everyone and answer my phone is so I can keep a piece of him alive.

14. The Cat Got My Tongue


When I was eight, I made the most disturbing discovery. I walked in on my 13-year-old cousin choking a small kitten with both hands. He just stood there with an unmoving expression. When he noticed me, he threatened to do the same to my mother if I didn’t find him more animals to “play with.” So, out of fear, I complied.

For two months, I would get him frogs, hamsters, and even my grandmother’s pet bunny at one point.

Basically, any small animal just to get him to leave me alone. The ordeal stopped when he was sent to the hospital for an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts and was gone for two weeks. I never told anyone. He’s 22 now and seemingly normal. He’s engaged to a pleasant woman who owns three cats, though I fear for their safety.

15. Karma Is A Coming


I’ve planned out the demise of both my mother and stepfather in my head since I was at least 13. I’d never actually go through with it, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t play through in my head daily. They hurt me in multiple ways since I was in pre-school, and my stepdad accosted me from 14–17. They both have bad karma coming their way if it hasn’t already.

16. Granny’s Final Days


I told my grandmother that I would be back to see her in the morning, but I slept through my alarm and didn’t make it to see her in the hospital. By the time I was done work, I had passed out in my car in the driveway of her house. I’ll regret this forever.

The next morning she had no more brain function. I beat myself up every day, thinking I didn’t get to spend those last few days with her, even though I knew nothing I could have done would have stopped her from going.


17. Hidden Pain


When I was a young child, I hid in a hideaway sofa and watched—scared and crying—shaking with fear—as my young friend was hurt within an inch of her life by her parent. She told me to hide and stay quiet because I wasn’t supposed to be in the house. If they found out, they would end her.

As soon as her dad stopped and went out of the room, and I knew he wasn’t coming back, I got out. I ran up to her—and couldn’t believe my eyes.

She wasn’t really breathing and was very bloody. To this day, the image of her brings me to tears and has me trembling in fear and trauma. I called for help and ran to a nearby neighbor’s house. I’m sure I scared them, as I was covered with her blood and stammered to get any words out. They called the authorities and made me wait there.

They brought her out in a black bag on a bed. I didn’t know what that meant as a child. I found out when the officer told me.

18. A Last Wish


My girlfriend had a long battle with cancer. I had been sleeping anywhere I could for a week, and in my haze, I never noticed just how close she was to the end. That’s when I made a horrifying mistake.

I thought I could go home, recharge, and come back. I woke up to her family in tears, telling me she had gone during the night. The only thing she wanted when she passed was to have me there. Instead, I wanted to sleep. It is easily my biggest regret.

19. Reunited


When I was 16, my parents got into a big fight, which wasn’t unusual. During the course of the fight, my dad kept yelling, “Why don’t you tell them?” Finally, through massive amounts of tears, my mom told my siblings her secret.

Apparently, we had an older half-brother. My mom became pregnant at 16 and gave the baby up for adoption. I later found out that my whole family knew, except for my siblings and me. My mom didn’t want to interfere with his life, so a few years later I looked him up on MySpace.

I was pretty nervous, but it turned out for the best. He and my mom reunited and now he is a part of our lives.

20. Living A Lie


I grew up in a cult. My grandmother took and alienated children from their parents, making them completely dependent on her. She’s been doing this for 45 years, and despite her advanced age, she’s still doing it. She’ll befriend a young woman with any sort of problem and allow that woman and her child to live in her home.

They give 90% of the money they make to her to “pay the bills”, and eventually, they get sick of it and go to a woman’s shelter or stay with a friend, taking their child. Then, my grandmother calls them, begging them to think about how that lifestyle will impact their child.

They usually end up letting the kid stay with her, and they typically go back to the harmful lifestyle they were living before they met her. CPS is always involved, and they’ll usually open a case on the mother. The consequences are heartbreaking. This frequently ends up with my grandmother getting full custody of the child.

When I was three, my parents had just moved out of her house in Texas and left for Ohio. We were staying in a motel, and my father had a job as a maintenance guy at the motel to pay the fees. One day, he had a friend over and needed to use the pay phone outside to order a pizza. He left me with this friend while he went to do that.

This friend wanted my father’s job and decided to call the authorities for child abandonment to get him arrested. My father was at the pay phone about a minute’s walk away, with a direct line of sight to the motel room door. Officers took me from my loving parents, and because my grandmother was my closest blood relative, I was placed with her.

I was raised until the age of fifteen to believe that my parents never loved me and that I was incurably mentally ill to the point where I had to take medication far above the safe doses for a child my age. At age 10, I was taught to cook and clean; at age 11, there were two new kids I was responsible for looking after.

In the end, I found an old letter that accidentally fell behind the filing cabinet. It had a woman’s name on it, one I didn’t know. Something inside me told me to read that letter, so I did. It was from a woman whose child my grandmother had custody of. I continued to read.

The woman was begging my grandmother to let her see her child, even just once. It had been a year. I continued reading, and it hit me like a punch. I saw my own name right there. I had never known my parents’ names, and I finally had a clue. After figuring out that my mother not loving me was a lie, I began wondering what else was a lie.

I messaged my mom on Facebook, and now, five years and six days after that fateful day, I’m living with her and my father. My entire life up until five years ago was a lie, and I still can’t wrap my head around it.

21. Conception Deception


My cousin is adopted, but for years we kept it a secret because she didn’t know. I was talking about it with my dad one day because I couldn’t believe she didn’t know. During the conversation, he let it slip that my older sister was conceived using donor sperm. After a moment, he added that I, too, was conceived using a donor.

Our two younger siblings, however, were not and were completely unexpected. It turned out that my older sister knew, but my mom made both my sister and dad promise not to tell me. I’m not entirely sure why I wasn’t supposed to know, but they managed to keep it a secret until I was 22 years old.

22. One Night Oversight


I found out that I was the product of an affair and the reason my parents both divorced their spouses. Then, I found out the whole story. My dad had two kids with his wife and had been on the fence about divorcing her. My mom was married and living in Detroit with her husband. I guess that marriage was having its problems as well.

My parents both worked at the same place, had met, and started talking. On Valentine’s Day in 1988, they were both sloshed and apparently decided against protection; hence, I was conceived. Due to my being conceived, my mother finalized her divorce and moved out.

My dad, understandably so, was not allowed back into his marriage either and moved back into my grandparents’ farm. Somewhere along the way, when I was about two, my dad moved in with my mother and me and has lived with us ever since.

However, my mother’s ex-husband is on my birth certificate, which is what raised the question about my paternity in the first place. I have an excellent relationship with my half-brother and sister, and they hold nothing against me. Finding out that you were a mistake is kind of messed up, but I’m okay with it.


23. Grandma’s Little Secret


I learned that the grandfather I grew up with was not my biological grandfather. I found out when I was in my early thirties after he had passed. My grandmother told me the night of his wake that he never got over his anger at the Catholic Church for refusing to marry them since she had already been married once. I responded, “Wait, what?”

She replied, “Oh, you didn’t know that papa wasn’t your biological grandfather? I guess you just learned something about yourself today!”  But that wasn’t the only shocker. I then learned that my grandma’s first husband was also not my biological grandfather. Turns out my mother was actually the product of an affair. I found that one out via an DNA test.

My biological grandfather and uncle coincidentally took the test as well and popped up as “closely related.” My new uncle then contacted me, thinking he had solved a different family mystery of his own, and I asked my mom if she knew anything about the family. When my mom asked my grandma, my grandma spilled the beans. My biological grandfather also didn’t know.

24. Staking A Claim


My father’s siblings and their families don’t talk to us anymore since my grandmother’s passing. I was told that they were just too busy working and doing their own thing to hang out like we all used to. On the off chance I saw them, I would always be the first and only one to say “hi” and try to catch up. About the time I was 18, I was told the real reason they didn’t talk to us anymore.

They had turned their backs on my grandmother when she was on her last legs and about to lose her house. So, my father stepped up and tried to convince his siblings to help save the house and help with the medical bills. They turned their backs on her and my father, so my father ended up buying the house and restoring it.

When my grandmother passed, my father’s siblings tried to “claim their piece of Mom’s money” even though they didn’t do anything for her when she was losing her life. To this day, they refuse to associate themselves with my father, mother, sister, and me.

25. Switched At Birth


I found out that the people I thought were my parents were actually my grandparents. My actual birth mother—the person I was raised to believe was my eldest sister—got pregnant at 14 and had me. She basically wasn’t ready or prepared to raise me, so my grandparents adopted me and raised me as one of their own. They’re my mom and dad and always will be.

I was around ten when I found out, and it all came out in the worst way. It was during a fight between my parents. There were drinks involved and a lot of shouting. I was trying to get them to calm down and stop screaming at each other when Dad let slip, “Well, why don’t you go ask your real mother?” The way he said it was filled with venom and hurt. He left my mom and me to talk about it.

My mom told me the whole deal then. She mentioned that my sister wanted so little to do with me one night that she literally left me on the doorstep and walked right over me to go on a night out. Apparently, the rest of my mom’s family didn’t approve of her taking me in, and for that and a few other reasons, we moved across the country for a fresh start.

We don’t really talk to them anymore for unrelated reasons. My “sister” also had another kid, someone I thought was my nephew but is actually my half-brother. We were basically raised like brothers. We used to play with my action figures and create elaborate plots and characters that would go on for days. I know my birth father’s name, but I don’t really have any desire to meet him. I’m told that he was a bit of a player and that I probably have a few more half-brothers all around the country.

26. Saved By The Barn


My grandmother was the illegitimate daughter of a state assemblyman. I thought that was almost kind of cool until I found out that he marked her as deceased on her birth certificate. He likely never acknowledged her until her mother and sisters passed—probably in a flu epidemic—then he took her into his home. There, she worked as a maid for him, his mean wife, and their children.

She finally met my grandfather at a barn dance and was able to leave that house. She was the sweetest, most generous small-town lady out there. I would never have known she had a difficult life in her youth. She never talked about it, and I don’t think even her own children knew the whole story until she was in her nineties and genealogy became a hobby for someone in the extended family.

27. An Emotional Wreck


Growing up, my single mother would physically take out her frustrations on her children. So, I spent time with four weekend foster families, two full-time foster families, two years at a boarding school, a couple of weeks at my dad’s place, and a couple of years at something called an “efterskole”, a type of boarding school specifically for finishing up what is essentially high school.

While all of that was bad enough, I moved to the neighboring country for a few years following my coming of age to live with my then-girlfriend. When she broke up with me, I broke.

It’s been 14 years, and I still haven’t been able to create a relationship—platonic or otherwise—with a woman. Whenever a bond is being formed, it simply snaps as I subconsciously retreat out of self-preservation.

After seeing a therapist, it turns out I have rejection PTSD from not only my mother but from most of the female authority figures I’ve had throughout my life. I don’t hate women. I just can’t trust them because I’m emotionally scarred.

28. Endo Wasn’t The End


When my health started doing poorly, I asked my mom if we had anything going on in the family related to the uterus, and she snapped at me, saying, “I don’t know anyone that has any major pain because of periods, maybe it’s just you.” I was forced to move out not long after despite not being able to attend work regularly enough and having trouble with money because of it.

A year later, I learned from my aunt that she had endometriosis, and one of their sisters had fibromas. She also informed me about an aunt on my dad’s side that also had a lot of problems with cysts and endo. The aunt I was talking to is very disliked by my dad because of her health problems; he’s always seen her as pathetic and weak. That’s why nobody helped me out.

I confronted my parents about it and was told that if I needed help so badly, I could go see my aunts. I was later forbidden to talk about my health in the family home because it would make my dad really angry. I’m still in a blind rage about it. I can’t even explain why they didn’t tell me.

29. The STD And Me


I was admitted to the hospital for a positive syphilis test. I went to a clinic to get treated and was told to go to the ER because I saw flashers in my vision, which could be a sign of neurosyphilis. I have been telling friends and colleagues that I have a bad staph infection. My whole family works in the medical field, and I have been too ashamed to tell them.

I couldn’t lie about having a staph infection to them because they would figure it out. So, I told them I had Covid and that they probably wouldn’t see me for about a week. My whole family had Covid recently, except for me, so it was a good excuse. This was the first time I’d ever been admitted to the hospital, and I didn’t know they would admit me when I went in.

I thought it would be a quick outpatient thing with some more penicillin—but I was SO wrong. The neurology team got involved. I was so scared, and all I could think about was that I wished I could talk to my sister, who is a doctor. But with syphilis being an STD, my family doesn’t talk about stuff like that.

My symptoms were a minor annoyance at worst, but since it affected my vision, it was being taken very seriously.

30. He Finally Got Exed Out


I’m happy my mom’s ex is no longer alive. The dude was a menace. He frequently had outbursts where he would destroy our apartment and threaten my siblings or my mom. His family and friends all thought he was harmless but didn’t want to deal with him. One day, he was having another meltdown, and my mom and siblings were hiding in my room.

I was holding the door shut while he was trying to get in, so I called the authorities. The guy blamed me for years after that and targeted me often. One day, some neighborhood boys tried to hurt me, and when I mentioned it, he convinced himself that I must’ve led those boys on and kept inviting them over. But that wasn’t all.

I also had to take care of him when he shattered the bones in his arm and hand, and traveling nurses refused to come to our house to flush his IV. I imagine he was terrible to them too.

31. Missing Mom


I miss my mom—a lot. She is still alive but is barely in my life because she was extremely terrible for my entire childhood. I ended up moving in with my dad after she tossed me out, and I had no contact with her for about a year. I’m talking to her again because it’s easier now that she has moved to another state, but it’s not enough.

I just want her to hug me, even knowing there will be a metaphorical knife in my back if I do. I have many memories about her as a kid that were mostly bad, but there were a few that weren’t, and I miss that.

32. Cult Off From Mom And Dad


I grew up in a charismatic evangelical cult. I was physically hurt by the pastor and several churchgoers in an “exorcism” to cure my depression and suicidal thoughts. It didn’t work. When I was 16 or 17, I was spiraling and made a horrible decision.

I tried to take my life. After my failed attempt, I spent weeks and weeks crying on the phone to the helplines at night. I often begged them not to call the authorities and just to let me cry to them, as it would just make things worse for me if they did.

My sister, who was 14–15 at the time, found me one night because I cried so hard that I puked. She asked if I was OK and comforted me. I remember her kindness, and she has always been my biggest support. Six years later, we both escaped our parents and the cult. I went no contact with them while my sister still talked to them, maintaining firm boundaries.

I’m 22 now and had my first birthday without them. My sister made me a cake, got me a present, and we had a get-together, but I didn’t tell her I was pretty sad the whole day. I didn’t get a single birthday wish from any of my family, and while I wanted it that way and there’s really no way for any of them to get in touch with me, I miss my parents.

I’m still just a scared kid who wants his mommy and daddy. I want my dad to tell me he’s proud of me, and I want my mom to tell me I’m perfect the way I am and that she will love me no matter what. I was a heavy user but have been clean and sober for months, but when I remember everything, I start craving again. I am thankful I don’t know any dealers.

33. Peeping Papi


My great-grandpa apparently accosted his daughters and drilled holes in the walls to spy on them while they were changing and bathing. When he passed, they condemned his house because it was structurally unsound. He had cut peepholes through all the major beams, and the daughters had stuffed them full of bits of cloth, or whatever, whenever they discovered one.

Then, he would just drill new ones in the night. It was not shocking that my grandma—his daughter—would find a guy exactly like him to marry. My aunts did not make it through high school without living a real-life nightmare. My mom was old enough to fend him off and got out after only a couple of years.

No one ever talks about this. My mother told me one night when she was tipsy.

34. The Pieces Finally Fell Into Place


When I was a kid, I used to live with my biological mom, and my dad would come and stay with us for long periods of time before going back home. I never thought anything of it since my mom always referred to him as her boyfriend. I thought it was a little weird that they never married as well.

I met my dad’s wife and immediately knew that I didn’t like her, but attempted to get along with her for the sake of not getting yelled at by my dad. My biological mother abandoned my older sister and me in a motel when I was nine. My dad came to pick us up and brought us to his house for the weekend. Eventually, he gained custody of us.

Over my childhood, I’d hear my dad make references to his wife about how long they’ve been married and whatnot, but I never put two and two together. I have two older siblings that my dad had with my stepmom who were both in their thirties and had children when I was 20.

When I was in 11th grade, I sat down and thought about my family tree since there were a lot of weird inconsistencies. I came to the realization that my dad had an affair with my mom while he was married to my stepmom, which resulted in my being born. To be honest, I finally understood why my stepmom and her family didn’t like me.

35. Silence Isn’t Golden


My mother’s side of the family has a long line of mental problems that we DO NOT DISCUSS. My cousin on my mother’s side had a pretty severe case of depression. He ended up losing his job and his car. His family intervened to some degree, but I don’t know what happened in the end.

Only my uncle comes to visit us, so we have to hear everything second-hand, and it’s barely mentioned. My mother takes some kind of anxiety medication, something that surprised me just this year. She’s never mentioned it, and I don’t think I’m supposed to know, either.

Given my father’s view on depression and mental disorders—he thinks that depression is a modern-day invention because people aren’t busy enough—I’m shocked that she went out and got something diagnosed to the point where she got meds. But that’s not the most shocking family secret.

My maternal grandfather apparently received electroconvulsive therapy. I only know of this because my mother let it slip just ONCE when talking about how she wondered if my cousin and her father had the same problem.

I suspect that he had severe depression and PTSD following WWII, but I’ll likely never have that confirmed as he passed, and it’s not something our family talks about. It might have been interesting to hear firsthand accounts of WWII from a primary source, but he took all of his stories to the grave, as far as I know.

There’s probably more, but no one talks about any of these things, so I’m totally in the dark. I can speak to a physician about how I have a family history of diabetes on one side and hypertension on the other, but as far as mental illness goes, I’m mostly just making educated guesses.

36. Damaging Denial


My cousin has Asperger’s, and only my immediate family will admit it, even though it’s blindingly obvious and makes his life very difficult. He’s in his mid-20s and has dropped out of college, lived in a state-assisted apartment—which he eventually got tossed out of—and at one point moved into a trailer park with a woman at least 15 years his senior and her young daughter.

He has all the tendencies of Asperger’s and my parents, who are psychologists, realized it as well. I think his life would be a lot easier if he was able to receive treatment, as I know many people with Asperger’s can live normal lives. A few years ago, my dad attempted to tell my aunt, but she flipped out and screamed at him in total denial.

37. He Turned It Around


I had an uncle who was successful. He taught industrial art design in a known school in a big city, had a nice little house downtown, and was basically the coolest, nicest guy you could ever meet. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and was all about positivity.

One day, I noticed that when his watch rode up, he had a tiny little “J” tattooed on his wrist. I asked about it, and he immediately shut down and said it was nothing before excusing himself and walking away. I was shocked since he had never been cold to me before.

I asked my mother about it, and it turned out that he was in a gang when he was younger. I guess it got a bit serious, and when one of his good friends lost his life, he got out and got serious about growing up and flying straight—which he did.

He started crushing his schoolwork, dedicating himself to wood and metalworking, and went on to be a success.

38. He Was Written Off


I found out at my grandmother’s funeral that she had a brother whom no one EVER spoke to or talked about. I have a small, close-knit family, and I had never even heard he existed.

It turns out he lives in Florida and writes conspiracy theory books about reptilians/alien people in the government. There’s a published author in my family!

39. Dark Cloud Over Sunny Skies


I’ve always hated getting my picture taken. I didn’t really know if there was a reason until I asked my mom why she left her second husband after my dad. After crying for an hour, she told me he ended up behind bars for the distribution of inappropriate photographs.

Then over the next few years, disturbing memories began to resurface and I was crushed. I then sought him out. He was living in Michigan. I strolled up and invited myself in, demanding he tell me everything. I was shocked at how revealing he was.

He was some born-again changed person now and wanted to be forgiven by me. He said he used to make hundreds of dollars a picture and would use the money to feed his addiction. I did not forgive him, nor will I ever. The worst part was when he told me I even had a special name, “Sunny.”

40. Got To Be Hiding Something


For years, I felt like there was something I didn’t know about my family. I wasn’t sure why, I just did. I would bring it up to my mom over the years, but she’d say I was just being silly. Years later, after my cousin lost his life driving under the influence, my mom told me she had something to say.

It turned out the man I thought was my birth father wasn’t, someone else was. I was in my early 20s and took it in good stride. My dad thought I would freak out and was glad I didn’t. What did shock me was the fact that EVERYONE in my family knew—my aunts, uncles, older cousins, etc.

How they hid that information so well over the years kind of freaked me out.

41. No Holding Back


As long as I’d known, my grandmother on my father’s side had always been deceased, and no one ever really told me the circumstances. Then when I became a teenager, I started asking my dad questions about his life and what it was like growing up. It turned out my grandfather liked to stick it to any and every female he could talk his way into bed with.

He didn’t let things like a wife and five kids hold him back from that. This drove my grandmother into a state of depression that apparently no one realized until it was too late.

After she and my grandpa had a fight, her oldest daughter drove her to a cabin they owned in Canada, a hundred miles away from their home, and left her there with no money, no phone, and no transportation. The consequences were disastrous.

She hung herself that night. Years later, it was suspected that the two oldest daughters had been taking money from my grandfather while he had Alzheimer’s. When my dad found out, he froze the bank account. Two weeks later, the younger of the pair blasted her head off, her body to be found by her two teenage kids.

At said Aunt’s funeral, as her daughter mourned over her coffin, instead of offering condolences, the oldest Aunt offered prescription meds to a 16-year-old girl. No one in the family has spoken to that woman since.

42. Too Close For Comfort


I went on a road trip with a family friend. He was a little more than a year older than me, and we had really hit it off about six months before on another impromptu road trip. Growing up we hadn’t really seen much of each other, just this one time when we kinda fooled around a little in high school.

This road trip was supposed to be from Billings MT to Washington DC, so we were looking at a solid 30 hours of driving. I was also going to hang out for a few days once we got there before flying back. I called my parents to tell them the good news, and my mom said something that made my jaw drop.

She told me, “don’t sleep with him” in that tone which said there was a story there. It turned out he was my half-brother. His dad and my mom cheated on their respective spouses and had me. They never told anyone, not me, not my grandparents, not my biological dad—no one.

They expected me to keep it a secret from my brother which was going to make it weird since he was kind of my type and we had flirted before on a shorter road trip. This was fifteen years after meeting my other half-brother who was only slightly older than my parent’s marriage but younger than their relationship.

The brother I grew up with was my half-brother when I thought we were full-blood siblings, the brother I thought was a half-brother is a stepbrother, and the guy I made out with that one time in high school is actually my half-brother.

It all turned out cool, but it made for some really awkward moments before I came clean to my newfound brother. I came to find out that both my parents have cheated on each other multiple times. Despite that, they are still married and actually love each other now and have pretty well-adjusted kids.

43. My Plan Backfired


During a manic episode, I did the unthinkable. I was filled with so much rage and sorrow that I let a homeless man take me into a ditch behind a church in hopes that he would take my life. He didn’t. He just snorted some crank, showed me pictures of his girlfriends, and made pleasant conversation. I guess he was just lonely.

44. Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place


I have had the same best friend since I was 16; we met in high school. When we turned 19, she met her husband. I quickly became closer to him than my best friend. We developed a deep brother-sister-type bond. My best friend had cognitive disabilities and anxiety, so I would vent to him because he was just easier to talk to. Then her husband lost his life to leukemia.

I stepped up and helped my best friend through the transition. I planned a memorial service, paid for the cremation, and was basically a rock, but I was completely gutted internally. I do not trust easily, and her husband was one of the few people I felt I could say anything to.

The loss was hard for me, and I had nowhere to go with the pain because the one person I would talk to about it was him, and he was gone. It was a complicated mix to deal with.

45. They Put Education First


My parents forged my birth certificate and lied to me about my actual birth date until I was a teen. When I was close to kindergarten age, my parents found out that I was born two weeks too late to be able to attend kindergarten. I was born on September 15, and the cut-off was September 1. To them, this was unacceptable because they thought I was ready and another year of preschool and entering kindergarten at almost six would be too late.

They photocopied my birth certificate, covered the number five from 15 with Wite-Out, made a copy of the now fake birth certificate, and took it to a family friend who notarized it for a good sum of money. The elementary school had no clue it was a fake, so I got to start school early. From then on, they celebrated my birthday with me on the first in order to keep me from spilling the secret as a kid.

I didn’t find out until I turned 15 and applied for my driver’s license permit. Obviously, it’s a crime to forge documents like this, especially for something like a driver’s license, so on our way to the DMV, my mom rather anticlimactically handed me my paperwork and the real birth certificate and waited for my reaction. It was kind of a shock, and 16 years later, I still say a little happy birthday to myself on my now fake birthday.

As far as school goes, no one ever found out, and I ended up being home-schooled in high school anyway and getting my GED. I also found out by eavesdropping that my mom faked her knee surgery when I was 14 and actually got her bosom enlarged. She went from tiny to huge.  It was the worst-kept secret. I had fun watching her pretend to limp with an Ace bandage on her knee when in actuality, it was her chest hurting.

46. The Mistakes Of  Youth


I was the family secret. My biological parents started having kids as teenagers. When my biological mom found out she was pregnant with me, she was 21, and I was their fourth child. They quickly realized they needed to get their act together. They were already struggling financially, had countless substance issues, etc. So, they were forced to make a difficult decision.

They decided that they were going to put me up for adoption since I was a baby. I was adopted by a loving family quite quickly, who lived only about an hour’s drive from the city I was born in. Coincidentally, I ended up returning to that same city for college. In my sophomore year, I decided to seek out my biological family. It turned out that my biological parents separated right after I was born.

My biological mom is still in and out of prison to this day, but my biological dad was able to start a new chapter. He got clean and sober, remarried, started going to church, and built a legitimate career for himself. He told his new wife about me when they first met but didn’t tell any of his children. My other siblings didn’t know I existed.

Thanks to the internet, I ended up tracking down his work number and gave him a call. Later on, he told me that as soon as I said, “Hi, this might be really weird, but”, he knew it was me. Apparently, ever since I turned 18, he and his wife were waiting anxiously for me to resurface. They knew the day would come eventually. That evening, they sat my siblings down and told them about me. It was difficult at first, but now I’m 25, and he and I have a pretty solid relationship.

47. The Second Time Around


My dad is my mom’s second husband. The first marriage was not necessarily hidden, it has just become forgotten and was never spoken about in front of my siblings or me. When I figured it out and asked my mother, she explained that she married rather young, following the Asian tradition of arranged marriages. Her in-laws were strict and demanding, which left her unhappy and wanting more in life than becoming a housewife. She divorced and started studying abroad, where she then met my dad. They’ve now been happily married for almost 21 years.

48. Sacrilegious Secret


My very religious mom was three months pregnant when she got married. She never lied about it, I just didn’t do the math right until I was about 20. She mentioned it was almost her 22nd anniversary, and I said, “You mean your 23rd”, and she just said, “No….my 22nd.” The “talk” my grandmother had with her went something like, “No one will want to marry you if you aren’t a virgin.”

She figured she was engaged, so that was a moot point. Her mom was mad and wouldn’t talk to her for a while. Her dad, who was a Deacon, replied, “Well, you aren’t the first, and you certainly won’t be the last, so it is what it is.”

49. This Secret Was Buried


I was lied to about what happened to the cat I had back when I was about 14–16. They told me he probably ran away. At that age, I was fully emotionally capable of handling the truth. I only found out about a month ago that he got run over by my grandpa, who lived in the house across the street from us. They buried him in his backyard. My cousin let it slip when we were talking about my mom getting a pet.

50. Fallen Idol


My grandfather had an affair with an English woman back in 1941, when he went to study there, and fathered a daughter with her. Unfortunately, he showed his true colors when he left them both and came back home. Eighteen years after his passing, my aunt, grandmother, and mother found out about it after my aunt saw the daughter in a picture. They contacted her, and both parties shared their connection to my grandfather. She said he left her and the mother and didn’t even try to contact them again. It was really sad because I looked up to my grandad, and this really dampened his image in my eyes.