There are some secrets that carry such great weight and potential for consequences that it's best to keep them hidden from those closest to us. No matter how hard it might be to keep these secrets, sometimes it's just best to keep the truth hidden in order to keep things going.
The people in the following stories can attest to that as they have been forced to keep secrets from their family, friends, and coworkers. Luckily, a platform like Reddit offers a great deal of anonymity, so these people were more than willing to share the secrets they told themselves they would keep to their graves. All posts have been edited for clarity.
The Secret Family
“I discovered that my uncle impregnated a woman just after WWII in Germany and he got sent back to the States before the little girl was born.
He married his high school sweetheart and never acknowledged the German woman and her baby girl, even though she sent many letters (which my grandmother kept). Now his three kids – my cousins – have no knowledge of their older sister over in Germany.”
So That’s Why He Moved To Such A Small Town
“A strange guy recently started at my job. He told us he was famous in his home state, was a radio show host, and this and that.
I decided to do some googling, and it turns out he was taking upskirt photos of underage girls at Walmart. He got arrested and sentenced to prison. He was fired from the radio show and his wife left him and took his millions.
I figured he moved to my tiny town to escape all that.”
This Guy Had A History Of Having To Skip Town
“A guy I worked with ages ago had to go ‘back home’ frequently to meet with his ‘old boss.’ Whatever, no big deal. Then one time, when he came to the bar with us, he started being weird, talking about time in prison but wouldn’t divulge why he went.
But I got curious and the internet is my friend. I discovered that his ‘old boss’ was his parole officer, and he went to jail for possession of child smut and had violated his neighbors’ kids, like all of his neighbors’ kids, and served close to 20 years for it.
I’m all for giving people a second chance, but when he started trying to hang out with a couple of the underage hostesses and one of the server’s mentioned he offered to babysit, I felt obligated to bring it up to our GM. He was fired.
I randomly saw him about a year later walking into a local pharmacy. I was on the phone with my mom, waiting to get off the phone with her before I went in. Less than three minutes later, he came walking out with a little black girl (he’s white). I don’t know why, but I felt icky instantly. Said I had to go, hung up on my mom, called 911 and followed him in my car, still on the phone with dispatch until an officer caught up and pulled him over.
I never found out what happened, didn’t want to know really, but a friend of mine (who he worked with at another place at the time) said he didn’t show up for work one day and never heard from him again.”
Isn’t It Ironic?
“I found out that one of my best friends is an illegal immigrant and is totally unaware of it. Slept over one night, went to grab a drink from the kitchen, and her parents were talking about how they might bring it up to her since she was getting older. The irony is that she frequently talks about how illegal immigrants should immigrate legally and that it’s unfair her parents had to spend the time and money to get here the right way.”
He Kept The Secret To The Grave
“I used to work overnight security a couple of years ago. My partner (we will call him Bill) was struggling with some stuff left over from the Iraq war, and so we spent a lot of time getting to know each other better.
Eventually, I was promoted up to supervisor, and then assistant director of security. One night, the guy who had replaced me on overnights called to complain about Bill coming in three hours late and wasted. I knew the guy was not good at keeping his lips sealed, and if I didn’t say something to my boss right away then he would. So, I called my boss (who usually shows up right after overnight leaves) and told him what was going on. My boss was also an Iraq veteran and he knew about the struggles Bill was having and how close the two of us had become, so I felt it would be better coming from my lips. My boss came in early, caught Bill red-handed, and suspended him for a week. I was instructed that when he gets back, to schedule him for day shifts so he can be supervised. We kept the whole thing hush-hush and assumed he would improve once he was on day shifts.
So I did exactly that. Bill was elated to be working with me again and with our other buddies during the day. He got better at his job, started sleeping regularly, and stopped drinking. Bill told me he was back on days because he wanted to be, he was tired of overnights. He never told me about the drinking, and I never told him I knew.
We both kept that secret until he took his own life two months ago. Rest in Peace Bill, you are missed.”
Their Family Is…VERY Close
“I know that one of my best friends from high school/college got intimate with his sister for an extended period of time. I actually sort of on and off dated her for a while, and during that time, he got really weird.
Of course, at the time, I assumed it was just a, ‘Hey, you’re banging my sister, this is awkward,’ kind of thing. Later on, he and I were roommates and she and I had long since stopped any romantic interests.
I used to work Saturday mornings pretty much every week. However, one week, I was off and I guess he thought I was gone. I came downstairs and was trying to find him to see if he wanted to do anything that day. It ended up he was in the basement bathroom (where we usually showered and stuff). Before I realized that, I went into his room where his computer was and there was a list of files pulled up in one window, dating over about a three-year period. In another window, there was a video up that he was obviously editing and it was very clearly him banging his sister in the very room I was standing in.
All the files were named stuff like ‘Me and B- 12162004’ and stuff like that, which made it pretty clear. I ran back upstairs and stayed in bed for a while.”
“Have You Seen Bob?”
“A bum we had to gently eject from a gallery opening spent his exit begging for a few bucks, offering to suck anyone off for $10. It was an odd moment anyway, capped by an odd, sad offer.
Later, I went out on the fire escape for a smoke. In the alley below was a straight acquaintance – like square straight, married with kids and a boring career – leaning against the wall, bum’s head bobbing against his crotch, getting a $10 favor from a sketchy tweaker. My first instinct was to make some noise, my second was, ‘I just don’t want to be involved in this.’
Of course, upon re-entering the party, the acquaintance’s wife was the first person who spoke to me. ‘Hey, have you seen Bob? Is he out sneaking a smoke?’ It was a weird moment. I’ve said nothing for a decade.”
The Truth About His Cousin
“The person knows I know, but I would never tell my family. When my cousin was 5 or 6, he was not yet part of our family. My uncle met his mom and they fell in love and moved in with each other. My cousin was still with his dad, and my uncle and aunt were trying to get custody, but her ex was a very wealthy man.
Apparently, he was also abusing my cousin but it was hard to prove and her ex had some really good lawyers. My uncle was not a rich man, but they needed money for a lawyer and a special therapist for my cousin so they could win the case. He robbed his workplace for the cash to pay all the fees needed to get my cousin away from his dad. My uncle’s work found out and had him arrested. He had to go to jail for two years, but he told my family and everyone that he got a job abroad and had to leave for a few years so that he could pay for my cousin’s lawyers.
Everyone in my family still thinks that he went abroad to make extra cash. Only his wife and I know that he was in jail. My cousin is a very successful, well adjusted, happy man now; he doesn’t really remember anything about living with his dad. My uncle says he would do it again a thousand times if it meant my cousin growing up safe.”
No Use In Telling Him Now
“My sister’s boyfriend, while a great guy now, had a troubled youth. He grew up with his grandparents as his dad is in prison and his mom is unreliable. Once, when he was a teenager, he was so angry at his grandfather for some reason, he used his grandfather’s toothbrush to clean the toilet. Funny, right?
His grandfather contracted a bacterial infection so bad that he ended up losing all of his teeth and now wears dentures.
I’ll never bring this up to him because he’s a genuinely changed person. I knew him when he was in high school, and he’s nothing like the person he used to be.”
He Could Only Take So Much Abuse
“A guy I grew up with who was hit all the time by his lumberjack dad.
One day, the dad died from some heart failure or what not. My friend told the police he had not been home but had biked to a friend’s house to see if he wanted to go play basketball.
I found out later, at a party where we were wasted, when I asked him how it had been to come home to dead dad, that he had been home the whole time and had heard his dad scream/gasp in pain and fall over, but that he had just stood there, first empty then smiling as his dad withered in pain and slowly expired into unconsciousness and died. Then, when my friend was certain his dad was not waking up again, he called 911.”
They Were Left With No Choice But To Act
“My co-worker had really off behavior. He had a spot out by the dumpster he’d smoke dope at; constantly tried showing me pics of his pet snake feeding on rats; would stop and stare at young female customers and make weird remarks about them.
I did a little internet sleuthing and found out he was a registered child predator; he’d violated his stepdaughter. His new address was a city away from the old address. On a hunch, I made a call to his parole officer, and yep, he hadn’t registered in a year. His P.O. rolled him up and sent him back to jail a week later.
I never told anyone how his P.O. found him. It wasn’t easy to turn him in; I felt like a snitch while I was creeping on the guy and hesitated a few days. The final straw was learning he lived in a house at the end of a dirt road with a new lady friend who had, you guessed it, a young daughter.”
Too Much Family Drama
“My friend hasn’t told his wife of two years that he and his high school girlfriend had a kid and gave it up for adoption.
Their immediate family and friends know and his parents told him to tell her before they got married but we don’t think it happened. He has no connections to the kid, but it’s the thought that his wife, who I love and have been close with since they’ve been dating, doesn’t know and when she does find out she’s going to feel like a fool because we all knew and didn’t say anything.
I keep waiting for it to explode in his face, either when they have kids and he tells her, the bio kid looking into his bio parents, or it’s blurted out at a family party.”
Totally Not Buying It
“My boss is going through a divorce and is selling it at work like it is the first time ever and how devastated he is and is using it to gain favor points to get away with coming in three hours late and leaving early every day.
Not saying that it might not be devastating, but, allow me to go on.
By the tracking of his schedule I have been keeping, he is working about 15-20 hours per week for the past four months.
I checked into him; he has been married four times previously, he had never been the petitioner for any of the divorces, including this one, the deed on his house has been changed several times to add and remove each wife from it as well as re-financed to buy them out.
He is a severe drinker and a prick in general.
Yeah, never going to tell him that I dug his life out of the internet like an infected ingrown toenail.”
She Was Too Embarrassed To Tell
“My fiancé was an amazing man, but he died just months before the time of our wedding. Out of mourning, I went through everything, EVERYTHING of his thinking he would have left me a message or clue.
He had dozens of SD cards for his camera. I looked through every single one, most of them being mature photography of nature and some pictures of old friends, but I also found a picture of three young, young, young girls…bare. Children.
I don’t know who they were or if HE took the photo or if it was a used SD card. I don’t know anything. I deleted the pictures, trashed the SD card and kept it silent until now.
I knew he liked younger girls, me being seven years younger than him. I was 17 when we met, but I just don’t know what to believe.”
Then The Phone Rang…
“I have never told another soul in my 39 years this story. I still don’t know how I feel about it.
Let’s start out by saying I love my dad. He has his faults and demons like all of us do. God knows I’m not perfect. So, I have never held this against him.
When I hit puberty, I had a pretty deep voice. I also went into broadcasting pretty early. So, I had a deep voice that was practiced every day. I sounded a lot older than I was. But I was about 15 or so when this story happened.
I was in my room, reading or whatever, and the phone rings. This was the early ’90s, so it was a single house phone and not in the times of cell phones. I picked up and say in my ‘professional’ voice, ‘Hello?’
A woman answered, ‘Hi. Is Mr. John Doe there?’
My dad was not there, and I suspected this was a telemarketer. So, I answered in the negative. Now that I am reliving this, he may have been out of town on business.
‘Oh. Ok. Well, you sound cute.’
‘Do you have a big dong?’
‘Um. I dunno.’
‘I’m in [a nearby town] today. What about you? Want a piece today?’
‘No. I think I’m good.’
‘Oh come on. If you’re as good as your dad, it will be a lot of fun.’
I hung up the phone pretty quick after that. So, an average day in the life of a 15-year-old turned into me knowing that my dad had girls in at least one other spot. Now that I’m nearly 40, I’m pretty sure he had them in multiple places. My sister said she thought we had brothers or sisters we didn’t know about.
I quickly decided that revealing what I know to anybody would not be good for anybody. So, I have held it in complete silence for this long.
I will never tell him what happened that day. One thing, it was so long ago. Another, why would I? This is kind of my burden to bear. To this day, I still hate answering the phone. You never know what’s going to be on the other end.”
An Unbreakable Oath
“I have a couple friends who are siblings in our friends group.
A few of us were in a Skype call with the younger sister while the older one was at work. We essentially heard her admit she was going to commit suicide that day. We had figured she was depressed and tried to help her the best we could.
The three of us and a couple parents ended up at her dad’s house and found her with her wrist sliced open in the bathtub and out cold from overdosing. I slapped a tourniquet on her and used towels to try to stop the bleeding while a parent called an ambulance.
The responding paramedics said that even though she didn’t cut her wrists properly, she still would have died if we didn’t show up and try to stop the bleeding.
Her older sister doesn’t know due to her parents’ request and it’s a closely kept secret in the group. Whoever wasn’t there, doesn’t know. Her father (who hated me for different reasons) always invites me out to different events, but still keeps up the impression he doesn’t like me. It’s kind of weird.”
She Had Idea How To Treat Her Friend After This Revelation
“A girl I knew in high school once told the class that she hated her dad, and went off about all the horrible things he says and does to her.
What she said seemed more along the lines of ‘he’s mean, and ‘he never does anything nice for me.’ I responded that she should be thankful that her dad is at least there and loves her. I wasn’t raised by my dad, so anytime someone complained about theirs, I became a little judgmental idiot.
My response embarrassed her, and she told me she wanted to talk to me after class.
She caught me after school and took me to a secluded area. Told me ‘I want to show you something, for future reference the next time you decide to write off someone’s internal conflicts.’
She pulled out her phone and showed me a video she had secretly recorded where she was only in a shirt and panties, and her dad was beating her viciously with a belt and calling her terrible names and grabbing her by the hair and throwing her to the ground. At one point, he even slapped her right across the face.
I almost threw up after watching that. All she said was, ‘Not everyone’s parents are perfect. Now keep this between you and me, okay?’ Then she walked off.
I had no clue how to treat her since then. I stayed clear of her, and didn’t tell anyone about this until now.”
Their Father Could Never No The Truth… It Would Kill Him
“My mom passed away a few years ago from cancer. She went for an operation for something mundane and they found out she had cancer.
My parents worked hard and were very good at saving. My mom managed the finances and did an amazing job. Now my dad is alone and keeps on telling me, ‘I wish your mom was here, I don’t know what to do with all this money. She would have known how to spend it together.’
The sad truth is, before my mom went for her operation, she planned on leaving my dad after the whole ordeal was over. She told this to me privately.
After she got diagnosed, he stood by her side and worked from home for months so he could take care of her. He also did an amazing job arranging all aspects of her funeral, even though my mom entrusted that to her sisters.
I told my sister, but I don’t think I could ever tell him.”
Like Something Out Of A Soap Opera
“My best friend visited his parents and relatives on Christmas Eve in 2014, and quietly came in, late, through the rear of the house carrying gifts. His extended family were in the living room discussing how it was surreal he didn’t know his aunt and uncle were his real parents and his ‘parents’ are his aunt and uncle.
They had him at 17 while dating in high school and gave him up to the older childless married aunt/uncle who had been trying to conceive for many years.
The stress of trying to have a child gone, the adoptive parents then had three kids in four years; his cousins.
His real parents married a few years after his adoption and went on to have three children: his biological siblings.
To this day, everyone thinks he doesn’t know and he has never let on to them that he does. He has no hard feelings, but it was a shocker.”
That’s Not The Proper Use For Candles
“When I first got married, my sister-in-law was living with us. One day, while she was at work, she called and asked that I email something to her from her desktop. This was prior to texting and email on phones being so prevalent.
I used her laptop and her Outlook to send the attachment. I checked the sent items to make sure it went through with the attachment and found an email she had sent to someone of a bunch of pictures of her with lit candles shoved up her butt. I never said anything, but had to start hiding all of our stick candles in fear that she’d make use of all my Yankee candles.”
Great On The Surface…
“A woman I used to work with is getting married to this guy who seems really great on paper, but I know a secret, that I’m not supposed to, that shatters that image.
The woman went away for the weekend and came home to find the guy’s messenger open on his laptop. He wasn’t there, so she looked at it and found out the guy had been visiting streetwalkers he’d met at a dance club and had actually gotten out of bed once after the woman was asleep and slept with a streetwalker. They decided to get married AFTER this happened.”
She Likes To Keep Tabs
“My sister still had the keys to her ex-husband’s house. Whenever he was out of town, she would find a sitter for their daughter for a few hours and go to his/their old house to look through his computer and tablet to see what he was up to, who he was talking to, and what he was saying about her.
He was her ex-husband because she had a six-month affair with someone else. At the time she was doing all this, she was still dating the guy she had an affair with. They’re engaged now, and their wedding is in April, but I wonder if the fiance knows she would do things like that all the time!
She doesn’t know that I know this though.”