Every family has some secrets. Sometimes the adults wanting to protect young children don’t tell them everything that is going on and when the children grow up, they are in a little bit of a shock to realize that they didn’t know some of the important things about their families. But some of the things can get really dark and could be a little bit too much for a child to handle.

Reddit user Flash_Dimension asked other users "Once you were old enough, what were the dark family secrets you were finally let in on?" And people really didn‘t hold back spilling all the beans. Some of the stories are darker than others. Bored Panda compiled a list of the most interesting and surprising family secrets that people have shared.

More info: Reddit

#1

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My father was a dentist as was his step father. They shared an office until my grandfather died when I was 5. Dad practiced in the front office while the older back office was kept in pristine shape but unused as far as I could tell. I thought it was out of some kind of respect for his step mother who continued to live above it.

Many years later I was comparing old dental instruments scavenged from his office with my younger brother. I showed him a giant curved forcep wondering what the hell he used that for. “Oh, didn’t you know he used to do abortions in the rear office”?

I didn’t but a lot of pieces finally fell into place; the late nights at the office, the cash and often bartered items that patients often paid with.

I was too innocent I suppose as I left for college to be let in on his secret but my younger stay at home brother was not.

Shock was quickly overcome with pride and joy. There’s nothing good about illegal abortions except when they are desperately desired by the people with the most need and the least means. My father had a reputation for kindness and flexibility in billing. If you needed work done, it would get done and best of all done well by all accounts, “see this temporary bridge, Doc put that in 15 years ago and I ever had to go back”. He was an unhappy dentist with a surgeon’s hands but surgery was not an option for Black men in the 40s. I imagine that he provided high quality health services to hundreds of women who otherwise might have ended up in the ER or worse.

(Anti-abortionists, please hold your fire, it’s just a memory and reflection)

billindurham , Luis Tamayo (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

I live in a shìthole country where abortion is not 100% legal, only under certain circumstances, and people like your dad are heroes.

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#2

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group Not very much a secret, but took me until I was older to understand what was happening.

My mom would sometimes have us play a game called “army” which consisted of me, my mom, and my siblings army crawling around our apartment. Kind of a hide n seek style game. She would yell “hit the deck!” randomly and we would all drop and find a hiding spot. We would giggle and giggle while my mom army crawled around looking for us. We loved the game so much.

I realized a few years ago while retelling the story that we lived in a really terrible neighborhood, and she would yell it out when she heard gunshots outside the building. I’m assuming she was worried about stray bullets.

Edit: I shared everyone’s amazing comments with my mom, and she shed a tear. She feels very appreciated on international woman’s day today!

Xskyninja , Bill Thompson (not the actual photo) Report

Deborah B
Community Member
8 months ago

Sounds like an amazing mom, protecting you as best she could. Kudos to her for finding a way to make you safer without making you afraid.

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#3

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group Gramma didn’t decide to move in with us because she loved us so much and wanted to spend more time with us. Gramma moved in because her son was a meth addict and convinced her to put his name on the house, take all the money out of it “for renovations,” and leave her homeless. She had a heart attack the night she found out and now has to live with a pacemaker. F*** you Uncle Roy.

susmantha , The Pentecostals of OC (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

And this is one of the many reasons I have no sympathy nor empathy at all for junkies.

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#4

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My cousins lived with us for a while and we thought that was fun because it's like a sleep over every day. One time our mom even took us out of school to pick them up.

I learned later that it was because child protective services took my cousins away from their mom because of mental health issues. My mom offered to take her sister's kids until she got her mental health back in order.

My cousins live with their mom now and their mom is in a much better condition mentally.

lllSnowmanlll , Richard Leeming (not the actual photo) Report

ProfessionalTimeWaster
Community Member
8 months ago

This is not dark, this is heartwarming! So nice of the mom to step up and take responsibility of her nieces/nephews.

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#5

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My dad used to send me birthday cards every year when I was a young girl (my mother left my dad while pregnant with me for good reason), even though I never got to meet him when I was young I was glad to still receive a card from him with a few bucks acknowledging I was alive and that he did one day want to see me.

Around 14-15 I learned that my mother had written every single one of those letters and my grandfather would mail it to ourselves to make it seem legit. I never ever actually received any letter from him.

Edit: I didn’t expect this comment to blow up as I slept but I wanted to answer a few questions that I got!

My dad was a pretty terrible guy. Without airing all my family’s dirty laundry, he was a sexual abuser. I did eventually meet him two times: once at my aunt’s funeral at 17 where he wrote me a long letter about how he wished he was better, and once when I was 19 when he tried to establish a relationship. He gave me terrible vibes and I never answered his attempts to reach out after that, and I’m happier this way.

My mom raised 2 kids by herself. Unfortunately my family has its issues. My family suffers from alcoholism and my mother has deep mental health issues. Growing up with her wasn’t always easy and still isn’t now — some days she is lucid and a wonderful mother. Other days she’s violent and unstable. But I know deep down inside her where she is well and unafflicted by her illness she is an incredible mother and kind. I just have to accept that she is unwell and try to remember good times. My family and I are estranged these days but it makes me want to work harder to be a stable and loving mother if I do become one someday. At the end of everything I do still love my mom and am thankful she shielded me from him.

Thank you guys. I’m so sorry to read your stories of similar things happening to you. My inbox is always open if anyone ever needs to talk/vent. Be well everyone.

kikistiel , Tim Pierce (not the actual photo) Report

ZeroHargreaves057
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh my.....

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#6

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group Mine is more cool that horrifying on the sense I’m proud of this one.

My grandfather was an amazing guy. He was a sniper-paratrooper in WW2. Always refused to talk about the army. I learned later that he was dishonorably discharged after injury. Turns out the Sargent in his squad was an absolute bastard. He had to go behind enemy lines to set a post up, and the plane was flying too low for a safe jump. He protested it to the Sargent who proceeded to shove him out of the plane after calling him a coward. Both my grandfather and his spotter partner were seriously injured in the landing. His partner (never knew him) was paralyzed and lost a leg. My grandfather broke both of his, his arm, hand, and some ribs.

They both were rescued shortly after and taken to a military hospital. That’s not what got him discharged, though. Turns out the Sargent showed up to visit them in the infirmary, and my grandfather punched him square in the face with his only good hand, twice. If his only army buddy we ever knew is to be believed, (he was also visiting at the time) he floored the bastard. After that, and on top of his injuries, the army sent him home for the rest of the war.

We found out later after he passed and we had to go through his stuff a bunch of newspaper and article clippings about the folks involved he had kept. the Sargent was also discharged after a similar incident cost the lives of two other members of his squad a year later that weren’t so lucky. The man apparently drunk himself to death years later. We found all these written but unsent letters to his Sargent, we found photos of my grandfathers squad and the two that died with him. It was heartbreaking. I never knew any of this. He was such a fun, kind, and goofy guy you’d never think anything like this would happen to him. Now I knew why my parents always said never to bring my up the army around him. Miss you grandpa, I’d have punched the bastard too

Steppyjim , Juanedc (not the actual photo) Report

James penny
Community Member
8 months ago

Sad and beautiful

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#7

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group i didnt have an imaginary friend who moved, I had a twin brother who died from a bee allergy when i was too young to remember much

biggayicecream3728 , Cleyder Duque (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

This is heartbreaking

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#8

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group Grandma’s top secret pie crust was actually just Marie Calender’s from the grocery store, set in a fancier dish. She messed with her daughters-in-law for years over it.

girllock , Beth Punches (not the actual photo) Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
8 months ago

Reminds me of an episode of Friends where Phoebe and Monica try recreating Phoebes grandmas biscuit recipe but it turns out they were boxed biscuits you could get from the shops.

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#9

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My grandmother’s first husband was extremely abusive, but this was the 60s and he hid it well. She couldn’t file for divorce without proof of injury, so she beat herself in the face with a slipper to get away. She was 21 or 22 or so- with 3 young children. I’m 23 right now and I could never imagine. She was such a strong lady, I miss her!

shorty_12 , Robyn Jay (not the actual photo) Report

Aria Dayan
Community Member
8 months ago

How would the slipper help? I mean I'm super glad she got away I'm just kinda confused.

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#10

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My cousins used to stay with us a lot, I remember my male cousin was a just a small baby when he first came to us. He would scream and scream and scream all night, and mum put him in my room so I used to spend the night cuddling him or playing peekaboo. My other cousin was my age (5) at the time. I found out later, my auntie was a heroin addict and a sex worker. My cousins were the result of clients and my male cousin was actually born whilst my auntie was heavily using and he was going through withdrawal after his birth. My grandparents ended up flying in from Wales and taking custody of them as well as putting my auntie on a plane and leaving with all of them. It was one of the saddest days of my life that I never understood... I thought they were going to be my brother and sister and wasn’t sure why all of a sudden they were taken from me.

Edit: Wow, thank you so much for the awards! I’ve just woken up and have loads to read through. For those asking, my Auntie made it out of that life. She prefers to be alone and doesn’t have anything really to do with the family. She still lives in the same village as my grandparents. Them being taken was always something that upset me so much, but was swept under the rug so much I thought I was being dramatic. Seeing all your comments is so validating and I thank you for that.

meagye , Dustin Iskandar (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

I hope their lives turned out all right

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#11

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group I'm still at least one families secret! I'm adopted and found my Biological Father, he begged me not to reach out to any of my half siblings as it would "ruin his life and standing in the community". The sad thing is I'm not even his first secret child, I have an older half sister that he also begged not to reach out to family. So that's two kids he's had because he cheated on his wife. I can only imagine how often he cheats to have at least two women end up pregnant...My half sister and I call 23andMe (how we met) "23andMark" because who knows how many more kids he might have out there. Pretty sure he's been terrified since at home DNA kits became a thing.

Edit: A word.

Second Edit and Additional info: First, I can finally say it, RIP my inbox! I tried to answer as many of you as I could but I thought I'd clear up some of the most repeated questions here:

Why don't I tell his wife? I don't need to, she already knew about my Half Sister and now me because she answered his phone when I first called asking questions and promptly told me to leave her family the Hell alone.

Screw him asking me to stay quiet, why don't I blow up his life/reach out to my Half-Siblings? It is largely because of my Half Siblings that I haven't done anything. I did not sign up to be a wrecking ball or to destroy a family. Imagine finding out everything you knew about your Dad was a lie in the worst way possible. I know I'd be devastated. I may not have met them but they are my Half Siblings. They are just as innocent in this as I am, I don't want to be the one to hurt them like that. I really hope that he will realize he can't keep a secret like this forever and come clean himself.

Why not mail his kids DNA kits anonymously? Realistically it's only a matter of time before one of them gets curious and does it on their own or gets gifted one from an unwitting family member/friend.

Why don't I blackmail/extort the bastard? he's a terrible person, he should pay! It's pretty simple, that's just not the kind of person I am. I don't want his money, I never have. I go to bed every night with a clear conscience which is more than I can say for him and that's worth more than anything money could buy in my opinion. I have a roof over my head, a Husband who loves me, a beautiful Daughter, a great Dad and two new Half Siblings I adore. From my perspective I'm already rich.

BellaTrixter , Lili Vieira de Carvalho (not the actual photo) Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
8 months ago

Not just that but blackmail/extortion is illegal. Not worth getting into trouble with the law for that sperm donor.

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#12

My father met my mother in the Philippines when he was stationed there in the Navy. He married her there and conceived me. He went away to finish his tour of duty.

My mother moved to America when she was a month away from giving birth to me. She moved in with relatives in Texas. My father's tour ended while he was in Hawaii. He met a woman there and called my mom in America, asking for a divorce. He wanted to take back his recent marriage to her - with a kid on the way - because he had a hot one-night stand.

My mother was already scared, being in a new country, not knowing much English. Add to this that she was pregnant, about to give birth, and her husband was dumping her.

My Texan uncle got on a plane to Hawaii, prepared to kick my father's ass. He somehow talked my father into being a man and taking responsibility for his wife and child. The fact that the fling dumped his ass surely helped. He was back by the time I was born.

I learned all this when I was eleven, around the time my parents got divorced. It was only the first of countless "dark family secrets" I would come to learn during my teenage years.

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Jessica Billings
Community Member
8 months ago

Your uncle is a rockstar.

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#13

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My grandma retired and she still decided to work for her brother in his restaurant to save up money for when she dies. Funerals are, obviously, expensive. She insisted he would hold on to her paychecks and pay for her funeral when she dies. He never did.

slovakgnocchi , David J (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Asshat

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#14

Grandma had 13 siblings, of those 7 women are still alive. Once a year they have a “sister day” where they all except one are going somewhere to have fun. They’ve been doing this since they were teens. All but one sister, who has been lied to her whole life about sister day, because she thinks it doesn’t exist. This is supposed to have been started when that one sister borrowed something and didn’t give it back. Or something trivial like that.

We are all reminded whenever we ALL get together (pre pandemic) that we’re not to talk about this, because it will hurt that sister. Still can’t wrap my head around how backstabbing b****y some family members of mine are. Because this is just stupid.

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Sharon Ingram
Community Member
8 months ago

Wow. Unbelievably cruel.

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#15

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group That my cousin was actually my half-brother. Mom got pregnant in college and my aunt and uncle adopted him. And, that my dad wasn't my biological father. Mom and dad got divorced, she got pregnant by another man, and my dad wasn't able to have kids of his own so they got remarried and he raised me as his own.

JaysusShaves , sergio santos (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Your dad is awesome

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#16

When my mother died I found out she had had multiple female partners before my father. I only discovered this when two of her ex's showed up to her funeral... Both of them were absolutely lovely. They told my sister and I a lot about our mom in her younger years. My mom shared so little of her past with us while she was alive, it was nice hearing about it, but also made us feel like we never really knew her at all...

If you're a parent, don't let your kids discover your secrets after you are gone. I wish I could have learned about my mother's interesting and exciting life from her. Instead, I only got to see a glimmer of who she really was. I hope others let their family see the whole picture.

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Sharon Ingram
Community Member
8 months ago

She didn’t know you would find it “interesting and exciting.” It was her experience and in that time she knew how it would be received.

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#17

Got a Facebook message from one guy asking if I was related to [my dad], since it's not a common last name. I thought he was a fan of his work, because I was in college at the time and the guy was about the same age as me.

And that's how I found out my dad slept around and that I had a half-brother the same age as me.

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Sharon Ingram
Community Member
8 months ago

I hope you and your half-brother got along and enjoyed a relationship. Not his fault your dad was a d**k.

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#18

My step grandfather has always been an alcoholic. As a child he even taught me how to mix his favourite drink. As kid at like 6 years old I would mix his drink as he liked and bring it in to him in the living room. (Don’t ask what the drink was a mix off cause I literally can’t remember) and my grandpa always acted “funny”. I always liked spending time with him cause I found him funny. So I never saw the bad side of his alcoholism and he never made me drink or anything so overall he didn’t have any negative impact on me at all, but before I was born he could get so drunk he threatened to kill my grandma and when he got in a car accident and came home he was bleeding badly from his head and he started saying my granny shot him. He even threw out some of the wedding pictures my parents had. I never knew how horrible he was. Maybe cause he liked kids or something. He would make me cocoa and watch Garfield with me when I was a kid, he was never a bad influence in my life. So it was so weird to me when I found out these things about him.

Before he died tho, he really regretted drinking, and he completely stopped. He became really depressed too until his granddaughter (biological) was born. He was so happy about his granddaughter. He died regretting everything and a sober man who was happy to have been able to meet his one and only biological granddaughter.

Regardless of everything he really changed in the end and everyone was really upset he died.

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Oleander
Community Member
8 months ago

I'm glad that he was able to turn himself around, that's just proof that it is never too late.

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#19

My aunt started the communist party in her country. It got quite large, her children fled the country, and I still don't know what happened to her.

EDIT: there's a reason I didn't list the country.

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General kenobi
Community Member
8 months ago

That’s either awesome or sad depending on which way you look at it.

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#20

My parents were going to abort me, but his friend stopped him. My dad named me after his friend. My dad and I have a great relationship now though lol.

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Kiyomi Loor-Iwasaki
Community Member
8 months ago

A true happy ending.

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#21

When I was young I thought it was really nice that my nanna lived with my aunt and her family since she was getting on a bit and it meant she was looked after and there were always people around (aunt has 6 kids). Occasionally aunt would gripe about being the one looking after nanna since aunt is also one of many kids and being young I sympathised but given they all spent loads of time with nanna too didn't think it was a big deal (you don't think about financial responsibility when you're young I think, just social and caring).

Well it turns out the reason nanna lives with aunt is because aunt and her husband convinced nanna to put the house in their name so they could "look after her affairs" and sold it out from under her and invested the money in a pyramid scheme (so it's gone now). Because of this her siblings refuse to give aunt a penny towards looking after nanna since it's her fault nanna has no money or assets and instead pay to take nanna out all the time, meals, shopping, activities so she doesn't go without but they let aunt struggle under the weight of nanna's general living expenses. (Aunts kids are all independent now so they are not going to be impacted by money problems.)

Now I look back at her griping with annoyance and think what a terrible person she is.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

Your aunt deserves to live until she's a hundred years old and deteriorate bit by bit over a long period of time. Fckn c*nt

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#22

My mother died after a few months of giving birth to me. Whenever i asked how she died the answer was that she passed away in her sleep and no one knew why. I just learnt a few years ago that she had Cancer and was pregnant with me. Giving birth to me severally weakened her and eventually led to her death. I don't think I'll be able to ever forgive myself because from what I've heard from everyone, she was a damn good woman.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

She made a choice and knew the consequences... One can agree or not, but no kid chooses to be born, so it could never be your fault.

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#23

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My father got my mother pregnant when he was her teacher in high school. He was thirty and married. She was fifteen and his student. They ran off together, he got a divorce, and they got married in a state that allowed marriage at 16, two months before my older brother was born.

[deleted] , Regent Language Training (not the actual photo) Report

Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Your father is a rapist.

Soulstice
Community Member
8 months ago

And a pedophile

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

That is definitely not something for the father to be proud of so no wonder it was a secret. That is statutory rape and he should have been locked up.

Tiari
Community Member
8 months ago

Since it’s posted as a „dark family secret“ I doubt she is proud of him for that.

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Nyneva Kyte
Community Member
8 months ago

Gotta love the random photos they post these with

M Kate McCulloch
Community Member
8 months ago

Consent is the first thing. I guess I'd ask my mom how she felt about the whole thing and check in on the dynamic of the parental relationship. Is she treated like an equal? Is he relatively mature? Rape to me is no consent - and pre-puberty absolutely no possibility of consent. Post-puberty the area gets gray...

Capelli rosa e patate
Community Member
8 months ago

With all due respect, your father ought to be rotting in jail.

blugeagua
Community Member
8 months ago

The father is gross

Little Panda Bear
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh my I don't know what to think. No offence but it appears unethical...

Iggy
Community Member
8 months ago

Unethical and illegal.

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Wonderful
Community Member
8 months ago

"Hey honey I'm home. How was your day? Oh by the way I'm screwing my student and she is preggers soooo. It's time for you to go. Here's a couple bucks, you tell the kids, and I'm gonna throw your stuff out so my sexy 15 year old can can be comfy and make herself at home. YOLO!"

Anna roberts
Community Member
8 months ago

Sue Bradley , So if I go in to rob a bank, shoot somebody who dies, but the family discovers that the person has Cancer and would have died a painful death. then I am good to go for the murder?

KT
Community Member
8 months ago

you dad is a pedophile and a rapist how disgusting

Anna roberts
Community Member
8 months ago

And guys like that seldom stop at one....

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AlmightyOne
Community Member
8 months ago

I would have immediately run away from home upon the realization that my father was a rapist

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
8 months ago

Well, your life must be pretty interesting, being all black and white.

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kjorn
Community Member
8 months ago

i wonder if they are still together to this days. we can't control love but the 30sVS15 and a Teacher it's kinda weird. but if they are still together i guess it was love and not just a fling. but again... teacher VS a 15yo...

Parmeisan
Community Member
8 months ago

I can see being in a relationship - as you said, you can't control love. But he should never have slept with her while he was in a position of power over her *and* she was too young to give informed consent. I won't judge someone else's relationship. But sex is a choice and they should have waited.

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Pancake Satan
Community Member
8 months ago

Bad...very bad

Victoria Lenny
Community Member
8 months ago

wow what a pos pedophile rapist, wish him all the worst sincerely <3

Sentinel
Community Member
8 months ago

Yikes. To be a fly on the wall in that family gathering, must be something.

DarkLumiya
Community Member
8 months ago

ehm.. yiiikes

Patricia Murray
Community Member
8 months ago

I think his father was married to my sister first, before his affair with his student. Those were very dark days

itsTrini
Community Member
8 months ago

Is he still a free civilian i mean u kinda just snitched on your dad?

Elish Janzen-Bender
Community Member
8 months ago

i mean i know imma get downvotes for this but if it was all concent and they really did love each other then i dont see a on that hand but yes a 30 yr old and a 15yr old is gross but i cant say anything because my sister is with someone 12 yrs older than her and has been with him since she was 16 and pregnant because the bby ddy was abusive and now they have 2 bio children together

Parmeisan
Community Member
8 months ago

You cannot give consent when you are that young and the other person is in a position of power over you. Like I said elsewhere - I won't judge them being in love and in a relationship. But the sex should have waited.

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Sue Bradley
Community Member
8 months ago

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No one has the right to pass these awful judgments. It was illegal, but if they were in love and it was all consensual, then sometimes these things happen

CowboyHank
Community Member
8 months ago

Do you know why something like that is illegal? It's not just the age difference. He was also in a position of authority. That makes it extra illegal.

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Azure Adams
Community Member
8 months ago

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Dawn is that you and are you talking about your brother Ian? If so, your mother seduced your father and was an abusive c*** to me all the years I was in her care. I hope she is suffering greatly. Your father married her to save face for both her and himself and was a decent guy overall

JonaLou2U
Community Member
8 months ago

Sheesh! Don't hold back Azure! Wishing anyone "suffer greatly" is an extremely abusive statement. Careful you don't become exactly what you hate. Sending you hope for better, less angry days.

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Deal _Anneal
Community Member
8 months ago

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If i was you i would be deeply embarrassed by this truth

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
8 months ago

Why. It's not the poster's fault. It is a fact, nothing to be embarrassed about

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#24

Double whammy I suppose. Didn't look like my parents or siblings so I thought I was adopted. Ask, mom brushes it off. Dad does too. Dig, find some info, prepare my "case". Around the same time I almost get abducted, super scary, mom was mortified. After, I was sat down and told I have a different father who I look like and he had just tried to abduct me. So not adopted but man who I thought was my dad wasn't. Good times.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Father is the one who raises you, not just the sperm donor, though.

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#25

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group My dad is in a cult. Wasn't much of a secret, but as a kid you just kinda assume everything your parents do is the norm.

Kindafancybus , Peter Harris (not the actual photo) Report

amyamy
Community Member
8 months ago

Looks like a normal picture from the Swedish Lucia holiday to me. And that's no cult but rather Swedish culture

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#26

My grandma actually legally disowned my mother for marrying my dad. The family house was supposed to go to my mom, but after the disowning, Grandma didn't say who she wanted house to go to, resulting in a decades long family feud that has split the family even to this day. Sad thing is, my parents actually ended up divorced after 20 years of marriage. Mom took care of my grandma til the end and was the one who handled the funeral arrangements when my grandma passed two years ago. She never asked for the house back. It's worth millions. Nobody told me any of this until I was thirty.

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Thindy
Community Member
8 months ago

My mom converted to Catholicism before she married my dad, angering her very Protestant parents. My grandfather nearly refused to walk my mom down the aisle at my parent's wedding mass until my nan talked him into it.

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#27

Not so much let in on, as we found out by accident, but apparently my dad’s first love and him got into a serious car crash when he was 25 and she died. He lived with her father for years after her death. He still occasionally comes to visit my dad, even 30 years later. We were always told he was a mentor until my sister pressed my mom on the subject.

One of my sister’s is even named after the girl that died (middle name) and we never even knew about her until last year. None of us have ever brought it up with him.

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Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
8 months ago

That sounds pretty intense

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#28

My grandmother ran off and had an affair, got pregnant, came back to my grandfather & they raised the baby girl together. My father and his siblings didn’t find out until they were older. I’m not sure if my aunt new the truth before she passed away. It’s also rumoured that there’s another half sibling somewhere out there so grandad seemed to be having an affair as well. Just affairs all round back in the day!

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Little Ms. Quirky
Community Member
8 months ago

that seems complex

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#29

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group When my grandfather died, he wrote his will on his death bed. He left his entire estate to my family, which was enormous.

His wife however, who despised us, in the biggest f*** you move I've ever seen, wrote a directly conflicting will, leaving the estate to her family, none of whom I've ever met, and then killed herself.

It took around 5 years in legal hell to sort that out. We ended up winning the case in the end, but it cost so much that we couldn't afford to keep his $3M house anymore.

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Star of the world
Community Member
8 months ago

#shook

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#30

My mum got pregnant at 18 and I have an older sister who was adopted.

Let me clarify: My mum was a boomer, and in those days, getting pregnant at 18 to someone you had no intention of marrying was Just Not Done.

There's no nice way to word this, but a common way of "dealing" with it (I did say there was no nice way to word it!) was that the young woman would have the baby and the baby would be signed over to their adopted parents within a few days.

I would say the young mums were pushed into this, but that implies that society gave them a choice. The impression I got (though I never dug into it in much detail) is that simply wasn't the case. "Mum, I'm pregnant" would be met with "How far along are you? Okay, pack your bags, you're going to live with Auntie Ruth for 9 months and the baby will be adopted once you've had it. There's a taxi waiting outside and your train leaves in 15 minutes. I've already called Ruth; she'll meet you at the station. See you in September. Oh, and there's some turkey left over in the fridge - make yourself a sandwich to take on the train"

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Monty Glue
Community Member
8 months ago

I'm a boomer too and I remember those days. A very few unmarried women kept the baby and it NEVER was easy. Abortion, adoption, or abortion were all terrible choices.

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#31

My grandfather got out of serving in Vietnam by robbing pharmacy’s and going to jail for years.

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Shelley DuVal
Community Member
8 months ago

Whatever works to get out of a war that should never have happened in the first place.

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#32

Grand uncle Harry has had 9 wives, over 30 children, and over 100 girlfriends. He's currently 70 living in a campervan in California while e-dating his 21 year old girlfriend from Florida.

His children range from 15 to 40 years old. He also groped my mom at her 18th birthday after he disappeared for over a year without contact.

This all stems from when my great grandmother took him to a cult after discovering a gram of weed in his dresser. She didn't know it was a cult of course but still. Imagine Mormons mixed with heavens gate. Crazy s***. He then started an air conditioning business and made millions but has since gone bankrupt and lost his two mansions after he didn't live in them for multiple years.

edit: forgot to mention, he was kicked out of the cult after a few years for repeatedly trying to hook up with girls even though it broke their "no sex before marriage" rule

edit2: iirc there was at one point a support facebook group for his children and former spouses, I dunno if it's still active

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Emily
Community Member
8 months ago

is your uncle henry really henry the 8th?

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#33

That schizophrenia ran in my mom’s side of the family. I developed it a year after she told me about it at 25. She didn’t refer to it as schizophrenia, but as the “(her maiden name) Madness”. She said that every once in a while someone in our family would go mad and that that’s what they would call it. I guess her side of the family also had ties to organized crime and at least one of them was a prostitute. My family never talked about issues or emotions at all so it was a shock. I assumed our ancestors were relatively normal, but I also thought my family was sane back then too.

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Mary Rose Kent
Community Member
8 months ago

I have a nephew with schizophrenia, which started becoming obvious when he was 16. It’s a heartbreaking thing!

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#34

My grandfather's brother left the family business after a feud to sell tractor parts to Africa. When I was an adult, I was told these were semi-automatic "tractor parts".

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Monty Glue
Community Member
8 months ago

Semiautomatic suggest guns, An arms dealer maybe? Merchant of death sort of thing.

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#35

People Reveal 45 Of Their Most Uncomfortable Family Secrets In This Online Group To put it shortly - my family tree, is more like a very long branch.

Yes we have the genetic defects to prove it.

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Emily
Community Member
8 months ago

sweet home alabama *im sorry its a joke*

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#36

Not particularly dark, but I was about 45 when I found out my parents never got married. My mother just took my father’s surname and they carried on like normal. I’d always wondered why there were no wedding photos etc, but they were hippy types so I assumed they just didn’t have a traditional ceremony. Weirdest part was it just came out in a random conversation, and they were like “.oh, we thought you always knew!” Well no, you never mentioned it! All a bit odd, really.

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zims
Community Member
8 months ago

Legally they've probably been common-law married for decades

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#37

My dad’s sister had a secret daughter that would have been approximately his age. She was 16 years older than him, and the family didn’t tell him until he was in college. In their small town, there is a not-zero chance he could have/did date his niece.

Edit: for those asking, my dad was 3-4 when this happened. He remembers a lot of shouting at the time, but not the topic. Also, he is definitely NOT the baby in question

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Little Panda Bear
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh wow

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#38

I wasn't actually let in on it.

My mother apparently had a miscarriage between me and my older brother, I was supposed to have an older sister. (Or maybe I wouldn't be born if she was)

I simply overheard her crying about the experience over the phone to my aunt (mom's older sister) and it still bothers her after all these years.

They speak Hakka (non the main Chinese language Mandarin), which they have come to assume I don't understand but I do somewhat ¯_ (ツ) _/¯

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Avery Day
Community Member
8 months ago

mandarin is not a "main"" chinese language, it is simply the official chinese language in a few nations. be proud of your mother tongue and never let people call it a dialect :). Signed, proud Hokkien and Cantonese speaker

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#39

Quite literally a "dark family" secret. Being a white a** blond haired blue eyed little rat bastard at 6 and finding out my bio dad is black. Funny enough my best friend at the time was whiter than me with blond hair blue eyes also had a black bio dad. I guess our mums were just supper f****** white.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Maybe they had the same dad!

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#40

My uncle wasn’t missing a ton of birthday parties, family reunions, holiday dinners, etc. when I was a kid because of his “really busy job,” but because he became a heroin addict after his wife took off with their daughter, my cousin who I’ve still never met.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Maybe that's the reason they left and the rest of the family only found afterwards. Believe me, if my SO was a junkie, I'd leave with my kid in a heartbeat. No kid should ever have to put up with a junkie or a drunk.

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#41

My father always tells me as a joke that it's my fault my mom and him are married ( I'm the second son). But through the years from drunk conversations and several sources I've pieced the story together, my parents separated before they knew my mother was pregnant and only came back together after I was born.

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Oleander
Community Member
8 months ago

I really don't think that people should put the weight of holding their family together on a child.

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#42

My father cheated on my mum, with my sister and I's horse riding instructor. We'd always thought it ended amicably. We only found this out while mum was admitting to having contemplated driving off the road with us in the car as kids, as opposed to raising us as a single mum with no career or stable job.

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Sharon Ingram
Community Member
8 months ago

My sister’s and my...

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#43

Just discovered recently my grandma had a 5th child. Put him up for adoption. Idk the whole story as my grandma has passed on.

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Oleander
Community Member
8 months ago

It would not surprise me if she could not afford to take care of a 5th child, it could be that she did it for the kid's benefit.

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#44

My aunt steals desserts from buffets.

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Eslamala
Community Member
8 months ago

Who doesn't?

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#45

Turns out the reason my mom's parents divorced wasn't because they "fell out of love" but because he had an affair with another married woman from church. The families had known each other for years and my mom was good friends with the other woman's kids. They ended up getting married less than a year after their respective divorces (they each had three kids). It was especially sad because my step grandmother's (the Other Woman) children suffered pretty badly because neither she nor her ex husband were functional adults. Their kids grew up fast and the oldest daughter basically became a mom and maid at the ripe old age of 12 since dad refused to step up.

My bio grandmother, bless her, didn't tell a soul about this. When I told her I knew, she sort of smiled and nodded like it was a relief that someone else knew beside her. I can't imagine keeping a secret like that for so long and not being able to tell your kids that it really wasn't your fault that you divorced and upended their lives.

So yeah, learned that little gem while helping with my step grandmother's hospice care this past fall. She was always a chatty person but end of life drugs really amped it up. It was pretty shocking because my grandfather is a pretty laid back, kind, straight laced church person and you never suspect him of cheating. The worst part is that in my shock and confusion, I told my mother about it and it was pretty obvious she had no clue prior to my telling her. I really wish I could take that back.

Edit: She wasn't literally a mom at 12, her dad just refused to learn how to cook or clean so naturally that fell to the other females in the house, his daughters.

And yes, step grandmother was the Other Woman. We had a great relationship, but that would have been different if I'd known what I know now. Kinda sucks when s*** like this comes up and changes how you see people. I still love her and my grandfather, but damn, they caused so much suffering for their kids for the sake of being together and love.

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Oleander
Community Member
8 months ago

It's really shocking how some parents just take the blame of a divorce for the sole reason of not wanting the kids to be mad at the other spouse. That is a lot to bear for someone that threw you away for someone else.

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