Have you ever learned about a dark family secret once you were old enough? Users in an online forum revealed their family’s deepest, darkest secrets. Not so secret anymore, eh?
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: The Clothes-Free Aunt
Upon pointing to a woman in an old family photo album, a family member in their 20s learned of an aunt they didn’t know about. “‘Oh, that’s your aunt Gloria,'” responded their mom. The mom then lowered her voice and explained how Gloria lives life in her birthday suit. “Poor aunt Gloria,” said the 20-something-year-old.
2: Shunned Kidnapped Survivor
Some dark family secrets are extra hard to swallow. “My uncle was actually my cousin. He was kidnapped as an infant and when he was returned a year later, my aunt didn’t want him back. My grandparents adopted him so he was legally my uncle.”
One commenter learned about a family secret that’s “not exactly dark” but relevant nonetheless. They discovered their father wrote X-rated novels under a pen name when they were young to put food on the table. “I’ve been trying to find one ever since,” they said.
4: Birthday Oddities
A seven-year-old was vacationing with their family at Disneyland when their parents suddenly had to “take [a] bunch of phone calls” a few days into the trip. Days after their return home, they whisked their child off to another waterpark away from home, explaining it was an extended birthday gift. About ten years later, their parents let them in on their dark family secret; their uncle had tried to take his life.
“By not telling me, my parents let me keep my birthday as my day, not the day uncle tried to die,” they said in admiration of their parents. “Knowing how a 7-year-old’s brain works, I probably would’ve thought I had something to do with it.”
5: Adopted Sister
“I found out I had a sister who had been given up for adoption,” says one person. They found out from a person in-the-know who “no longer felt bound to secrecy after my mom died.” The child of the deceased mother says, “It also explains why mom freaked out when I told her I’d done a 23AndMe test.”
6: Poorly Planned Escape
A commenter’s uncle “tried to rob a bank and ran away by [on] foot.” After he got married and his wife sadly took her life, they say, “The police thought that my uncle killed her, since he had a criminal past but he didn’t (he was at work and there were witnesses).”
7: Can’t Trust You
“My dad secretly had a vasectomy after I was born,” says one person. The reason? Their mom had said she had been taking birth control, and he learned that wasn’t true when she got pregnant with their final child.
8: Truly Evil
A former father-loving child says, “I always thought my two older brothers got addicted to drugs because of their own decisions and the people they hung out with. It turns out that my dad had been feeding them pills since they were about 10 to ‘shut them up.'” The sibling explains, for “years I held resentment against them for not being good older brothers like they should have only to find out that it was my father who I had praised all those years that was truly evil.”
9: Why the Neighbors Moved
Upon reminiscing about the past with their mother, a now-adult learned why their friendly neighbors had abruptly moved from their coastal childhood town to live with their supposedly sick grandma. The neighbors had a 14-year-old babysitter watch their approximately 5-year-old kids. Upon returning home, they discovered the babysitter had been murdered.
The parents asked the police to remain quiet while they walked their kids, who slept through the entire thing, out of the house. “The cops think the sitter pretended to be the only one home to protect the kids,” they said. “Not sure if the kids ever eventually figured out the truth of that one.”
10: The Unforgivable
As a child, one commenter’s mother would give them hard drugs as a baby and toddler to control them. When the mother couldn’t afford to share her stash, she’d leave her child with the grandmother. “I’d go through withdrawals but no one would no [sic] what was wrong.”
11: Morbid Sled Ride
My paternal grandmother had an affair with our small town’s mortician in the 1940s,” says one commenter. “She got pregnant and he performed an illegal abortion. The fetus was buried behind the funeral home he owned where we kids used to sled every winter.” So, how did the person find out about this dark family secret? “My dad told me this as I was getting ready to take a ride down the hill on the sled when I was 12.”
12: Messing With the Wrong Person
A relative learned that their great-grandfather ended the life of the mayor of the village where he lived when he was 15 or 16 years old. Why, you ask? “The mayor was sleeping with his mom while his father worked on the field.” I think he was 15 or 16 when he did that.”
13: If Scars Could Speak
“My grandfather had severely scarred legs from burns he got as a kid,” says one commenter about the dark family secret they learned about. “Growing up we were told that he was in a fire in an apartment building and sustained the burns while escaping.” When the grandchild was 23, their great aunt (the grandfather’s sister) told them the scars weren’t from a fire. “Their father ran a bath with scalding water and put my grandfather in it as a punishment,” they said.
14: Comic Relief
Among the many dark family stories shared, one refreshingly doesn’t involve death or illegal substances. “When I was very young, my family lived in a townhouse, and against all local bylaws, my mother decided to keep a horse in our backyard.” The best part? “It was an ex-racehorse that came as a package deal: the goat companion that slept in the closet of my nursery.” I also later found out she was running a grow-op in the basement.”
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