“I Will Never Ruin It For Her”: 35 Secrets Daughters Refuse To Tell Their Parents
Research has linked secrecy to increased anxiety, depression, and even the more rapid progression of diseases. The explanation is quite simple: hiding things from others is hard work.
You have to watch what you say—staying careful not to slip up often requires evasion or even deception. And constant vigilance and concealment can be exhausting.
However, sometimes we can't open up even to our closest people. Recently, Reddit user Master_Notice_6690 made a post on the platform, asking its women, "What's a secret you could never tell your parents and why do you feel you can't tell them?" The answers started quickly pouring in, revealing the burden many carry silently.
This one is more lighthearted than many, but it is something I will take to the grave. My mom, for some unknown reason, came to the belief that I absolutely love a certain brand of caramel chocolates. Really, I feel pretty neutral about them. I am not much of a candy-eater, and when I am I prefer chocolate without caramel, but whatever. But anyway she for some reason believes that these are my absolute favorites and gets me a baggy every year for Christmas. The look on her face as I open them and eat one in front of her is so pure, I will never ruin it for her.
That every time they are involved in my child's interests and being affectionate and playful, I'm wondering why I didn't get this version of them.
My ex husband hit me a few times. If I had told my parents I know that they would have blamed me for it. Because they thought he was Mr. Wonderful. My sister's boyfriend hit her once and they basically said well you made your bed and now you have to lay in it. Just don't make him mad. Seriously that's my parents.
I don't love them.
Both my parents love me in their own way, and I do think they want what's best for me. That being said, it was made known since birth how much of an inconvenience I was to them. They were not there to support me and, in turn, got angry when I lashed out.
I get along with them well enough nowadays. I appreciate them for the good they've done. Do I love them? No.
That a big part of why I stay up so late at night is that I can finally have some peace and quiet to myself without my mom walking into my room often to ask me stuff, borrow something from the closet, etc. These things aren't inherently bad, and she does knock, but they become it when I'm made out to be the bad guy if I ask her to give me some space or if I'm even slightly moody towards her, and it stresses me out.
I'm the emotional support child so I don't tell them anything bad, ever. My older sibling is the embodiment of chaos, my younger has health issues. I'm fine.
I am an aspiring medical oncologist, and my mother has cancer. She is great for the time being, but she is considered a high-risk patient for recurrence and, ultimately, death. I know the statistics, I know her chances (approximately 65-70% to overcome cancer completely), and I also know that every patient is different and obviously not just a number. However, I have excruciating anxiety, which I hide perfectly from my whole family because they are hopeful, and they dont know the truth. So I face this anxiety on my own, with the help of a therapist, something that they also don't know at all, and I guess that they never will.
How upset I was when they told me we were adopting my youngest brother, and how I still have complicated feelings about that. I love my brother so, so much, and I am so glad he is in my life. But at the time, my two older siblings were pretty severely ill with chronic illnesses and I was already being parentified with my three younger siblings. I cried for a long time in bed that night because I felt like they already couldn’t take care of the kids they had, and now they wanted to add another for me to take care of.
I’ve only recently begun to admit this to myself, thanks to therapy. At one point my therapist said “You can love your brother and also feel like your parents shouldn’t have made that decision at the same time” and that hit me hard. It’s all a confusing mess though, because obviously if they had waited to adopt again then we wouldn’t have my brother, and that’s not what I want.
They once dragged me to the doctors because they thought I was doing drugs because I was low energy, unmotivated and started to spend time in my room all the time. Turned out I had glandular fever, but apart from that I was just really depressed as well because of how hard they were on me and the choices I wanted to make for my own future, while they were forcing me to study something I didn't want to, where I wasn't comfortable with the teachers nor my classmates, making for a very isolated experience. I was very young, but was already done with life. If my best friend hadn't popped up when she did, I probably wouldn't have been here anymore.
15 years later I'm doing really well, I have nice friends, a nice job, a house, a sweet husband, the cuddliest cat ever. I got where I am because of the choices I made, which I made against my parents' better judgment.
So it's very triggering to either hear them say 'ofcourse you're so successful, with all the good traits and support you got from us' or worse 'ah it's a shame you never did anything with your brain' as if me being happy and steady in life is still not good enough.
I had a miscarriage and it was in no way emotionally traumatic for me. My mother, if she knew, would mourn terribly for that pregnancy and judge the f**k out of me for not being upset.
So, she doesn't ever need to know.
i'm gay :(
they aren't homophobic toward others but they fear judgement about it from other homophobic family members. and it feels like they value having a good image over me sometimes.
I could never tell them that I'm a lesbian, I grew up in a religious household, for some reason I never took to the religion and initially saw myself as agnostic (later in life I consider myself an atheist)
Anyway, I've dated men in the past and I could never put my finger on why something was missing... until I muster the courage to ask a female co-worker out. I immediately had internalised homophobia (I was never homophobic to others) and was disgusted and ashamed of myself - don't worry folks, I've worked through this and I am happy with my sexuality.
I moved out and lived with my partner - I never told my parents why and I never told them my address to protect myself and my former partner. I was very open and honest with my partner from the very beginning of our relationship. We spent three years together until the relationship unfortunately came to an end ~3 months ago. Despite the relationship ending, I have no bad blood towards her, I am good friends with her.
She's the only woman I've been with. One day I hope to find that special someone, my player 2 (or player 1 if they want to be player 1, I don't mind at all)
I hope that anyone else that is going though something similar will find that person too :)
My dad passed away 21 years ago, and I could never tell him he f****d up my and my sister's life by choosing such a horrible human being to be our mother and by looking away when his 2nd wife physically and psychologically abused us during our entire childhood and teenage years.
My mother is great and caring person but she shouldn't have had kids until she at least tried to fix her emotional issues.
She thinks she was great mother in difficult situation and I'm so smart and strong but in reality she parentified me and used me emotionally to fulfil her needs from her childhood. Her mother denied her emotionally and she complains how hurt she is without realising she is did the same to me just in different way. Not to mention the fact that she's the reason I don't want kids and I can never tell her that. How do you tell "I already raised myself and my sibling so why would I want another kid?" without hurting them?
That I'm in early stages of a cancer diagnosis. They live too far away and they are poor so they would want to help and would probably bankrupt themselves to help me.
Plus my mum would catastrophic and it would just be draining. Dealing with my own emotions is already too much. I don't need hers too.
That the older librarian who mentored me from 16-19 was actually my girlfriend.
That I never wanted children because of how I grew up thinking I had to be on the wacked out diet my mother was on (she's 5'3 and 100 lbs soaking wet). My dad wasn't as bad, but if I wasn't being active like him, I was a disappointment. So, I didn't want to raise children with those tapes in my head. I'm not going to pass on screwed up body images to my kids like the one I have to myself.
I was SA'd by my first serious boyfriend. They know that. What they don't know is that when I attempted to break up with him, he swore he'd ruin my dad's career if I ever made an accusation against him. His folks were a big deal in my dad's industry and they were wealthy and better connected than we were. My dad now works in a different state entirely but the statute of limitations has already passed.
When I was 3-4 I had a very abusive babysitter. One of my first memories involves this woman brushing my hair, yanking it, and when I cried out, hitting me with the hairbrush so hard I fell into a night stand and broke it, at which point she literally beat my a*s with the hairbrush. Afterwards she drug me to the car, decided to take me and the other kids she was watching to the bank, made me wear a paper bag over my head, and while everyone else got a sucker and ice cream, because I was "crying like a baby", I got to sit and watch them eat. When I got home, my parents saw the bruising on my butt and legs and freaked the f**k out. They asked what happened and I told them. They called to confront her and she made up some story about how I fell down the stairs and landed on my butt after having a really bad dream, that I had been yelling and crying in my sleep. My parents didn't believe her, even though I did and still do have very vivid and often violent dreams, but me being the sensitive kid that I was, I was so afraid they were going to hurt her for what she did, and I was more concerned about her than myself, that I told my parents that must've been what happened and I just couldn't tell the difference between dream and reality. I know what the f**k happened. I didn't dream it. I didn't make it up. My parents I don't think fully believed it, because I started school early at 4, and I think it was partially because they no longer trusted her to watch me. My parents still don't know that everything I told them was actually true, because even though I'm in my 30s now, and my parents are early 60s, I know they would still beat the woman to death if they found out she actually did this to me. This incident was sadly only one of many I remember from my time with her watching me. She always thought she was better than my mom because my mom's a nurse who had to work a "real job", whereas she got to stay home and babysit a few kids. I remember her trying to teach me many lessons about what "real women's work" was and insulting my mom for not being a "real woman" for having an "outside job". I was only 3-4 when she babysat me, and I remember so many things so vividly. Several years ago I was at the grocery store with my father and she came up chatting, dad reintroduced us and she laughed and smiled and acted like we were best friends. I remember nodding and smiling until dad wandered off before deadpan telling her, I remember everything, and she better think herself lucky I've kept my mouth shut all these years, and she needed to leave and stop acting like we were friends. I took great satisfaction watching the color drain from her face before she left.
My sister and I feel like the wrong parent died. My entire family devolved when my dad died. It’s very Ionely.
That I'm an atheist. It would just break my mother's heart and she would try to continually get me to believe again because she'd 100% believe I'm going to hell. Now I have a baby the conversation's gotten a bit harder to manoeuvre around
That I was groomed into a sexual relationship by some old creep and went through a whole f*****g court case throughout my final two years of high school and the only reason the police didn't tell them is because they thought it would take two years to complete the investigation and get to court and I'd be 18 by then - and they were right. The story was on the news and everything and I remember mum reacting to it, nerve wracking stuff.
That I have attempted 3-4 times in the past.. and I still have days where I don't want to be here anymore. That sometimes, I believe I am so useless and i have nothing valuable to offer the world. and that I'm just not going to become successful anyway so what is the point of trying?.. I haven't attempted in years but the thought will occasionally cross my mind when I am going through a dark period.
I'm an only child & if my parents heard that their only child doesn't want to live, that would shatter them. My dad has heart problems, along with a pacemaker.. I can't imagine how his heart would react if I ever told them that. so I keep it to myself.
I never told my mum I had a motorbike. I used to hide it with the neighbour when she came to visit. She repeatedly told me she'd disown me if I ever got on one, so goodness know how she would have reacted if she knew I'd bought one haha.
After she died, me and my dad got drunk at my house one night and I told him. In the morning I showed him it and he thought it was hilarious. I have since sold the bike (broke my collarbone on mountain bike and realised how much more dangerous a motorbike would be), but I'm still glad mum never found out about it, but a bit sad at the same time she never knew this quite significant part of my life.
That I've lost my virginity before marriage and have had multiple boyfriends, and that I have a tattoo and drink lol. My parents are religious immigrants. They would have a heart attack.
- Never can tell my mom that the reason for my move out was her new boyfriend. - never can tell my parents that 2 persons SA'd me - never can tell them that I have depressions and have problems with suicide thoughts
I used to do SW. I feel like they would be so ashamed of me, because I didn’t do it out of desperation, they’ve always helped me financially. I did it because I wanted power and control after being abused multiple times. I would just be so sad if they found out I used to sell my body.
That I'm autistic. Might figure out a way to tell them at some point, but it just doesn't really feel worth it. My older brother was diagnosed as a kid, autism isn't an unfamiliar concept to them, no idea how or why they were oblivious when it came to me as a kid/teenager but they really f*****g dropped the ball. Whenever I came to them with social issues I was having, just got told it was normal and I would grow out of it. Most of those issues weren't normal, though who the hell knows how many of my family members are neurodivergent and unaware, and they didn't just go away, had to figure them out the hard way years later after finally figuring out what was going on.
Would have been nice if I had just known from the start, blindly stumbling through my childhood and teenage years wasn't fun and has left me with a variety of issues. But too late for that, figured it out fairly young still, moving forward as best I can. No idea how my parents would react, if I told them and got a bad response, they deny it, argue, whatever, it would hurt my relationship with them pretty badly, not really worth risking that over something they've long since missed the chance to help me navigate.
I was almost abducted by a drugged woman in college who wanted me in her car for money. She saw me carrying a lot of shopping bags out in public, in broad daylight. I was buying Christmas presents and was on my way back to my dorm when it happened.
In hindsight I should’ve told my parents and reported it, but I was so shocked I didn’t. Obviously I got away, but still knowing that it almost happened bothers me occasionally. It’s been almost 10 years now.
My list would probably be: -They’ll never know I’m married (it’s a complicated story) -That in high school an ex attempted to SA me (I fought back and got away.) -I have a tattoo. -I’m pretty sure I’m bisexual. It’s been easy to hide though since I’m in a relationship with a man.
I stole my moms high school diary when I was 12 and she’s been looking for it the last 40 years. The guilt is horrible but I still can’t get the courage to tell her.
That my husband and I are swingers.
Even though my mom was a hippie and did all the things that one associates with a hippie (free love, lots of drugs, civil disobedience, etc.) I don't know that she'd understand.
Or she'd ask too many, very detailed questions about our decision because, well...that's just her.
That I voted Republican in 1981. My parents were bleeding heart liberals who dedicated their whole lives helping others. Civil right lawyers who stood against THE MAN, large corporations and republicans.
My brother convinced me to vote for Reagan. They would not only roll over in their grave, they would climb out, and haunt me for the rest of my life if they ever found out.
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