Families can be hard work. We all have secrets that we keep from them, but the secrets kept by these Redditors are far and above. These are secrets that if found out, would totally destroy a family. Please be warned that many of the stories within contain graphic information that some readers might find very disturbing. Some stories have been edited for clarity.
"First time telling anyone this. I am basically living a lie. I told my entire family I was able to transfer out of community college and into a university, but I never finished up the requirements.
So since I live at home, every day instead of going to school I go to the local library and mess around. My lies are so extensive, I even go to the campus and meet my girlfriend for lunch sometimes. I've made fake transcripts to show my family, and to make it look like I'm actually studying I go to MIT opencourse to look up facts that I 'learned in class' that day. I have become a remarkable liar.
I hope to be transferring in the fall and then I look forward to living a normal life. Coming clean is not an option at this point."
"This isn't necessarily something that could ruin my life, but it could ruin many others. I haven't told anyone before.
My father recently went to prison for a white collar crime that he plead guilty to. He didn't commit this crime, but the alternative was fighting a highly sensationalized, media obsessed, scapegoat case and potentially getting 20+ years.
While he was in prison, I read his little blue book, which I knew contained all the missteps of everyone he's worked with. He has always been an extremely scrupulous man, so these offenses were something he took seriously enough to note. I have information on countless state employees, incredibly prominent and wealthy community members, numerous elected city/state officials, and police officers. This information could ruin lives and start political controversy.
My father is an incredible man and is not vengeful whatsoever. He will never use any of this info against these people, despite the fact that most completely turned on him and stayed uninvolved at all costs or started pointing fingers. When I picture my aging father sitting in a maximum security prison cell sleeping on a metal sheet without a mattress (he wasn't give one until his 5th night), I am filled with rage for these people who could have stood up for their friend and prevented this, while he still continues to be loyal."
"Ok, so this is a secret I've kept for nearly 20 years.
During the summers when I was growing up, my parents would often leave my brother and me (I'm male) with our aunt and uncle who lived out in the country. It was great as they had four sons of ages close to ours, so we had a lot of fun doing kids stuff.
One summer when I was 8, the oldest cousin was maybe 16. We somehow got talking, and he asked me if I wanted to sleep in his room that night. He has the nicest room and bed, so I was all for it. Got into bed, and he asked if he could touch my junk. I was 8 and just thought it was ok, so I let him. He rubs it for a bit and then asks me to do the same to him. So I do. This progresses and eventually gets more intense. I think I knew this was wrong, so I said I didn't want to carry on. We stop and I go to sleep quite confused.
I wake up, and he hands me some money and tells me never to tell anyone about what happened. Next night he tries to do the same thing. But now all I care about is the money. So I do it. This carried on for two summers.
Eventually I got old enough to realize it was quite wrong regardless of the money and stopped.
I've not told anyone this. He's now married with two kids. I'm also married, and we see them sometimes at family events. I don't have the balls to even try to talk to him about it. God I'm not even sure what I'd say."
"I have been pretending to be colorblind to everyone I have ever known, including my own parents since I was in the third grade. I am now 28 years old.
I even convinced an optometrist of it. Back in second grade our school nurse gave us those little color blotch tests, and I just goofed the results. Maybe just for attention. It was such a stupid lie that it was impossible to tell people that I wasn't colorblind, because why would I do that?
The longer it went on, the more people 'knew' and the deeper I got. Never would have thought it would have turned into a life long obligation."
"I once helped out my female friend's family by taking care of their cat for a week. Every day for a week, I would go over there and snoop around their house. I found my friend's diary, and proceeded to read the entire thing. I used this information to get her to like me, and she is currently my wife."
"When I was 15, my parents were going through a divorce. My mom worked night shifts and my dad was living with a friend of his. One night my sister who was 19 at the time came home pretty sloshed from a party. She was acting goofy and fell on the couch next to me. She started grabbing my leg and laughing, and we started fondling. We ended up going all the way right there. When we woke up the next day she had no recollection of the night before, so I just kept my mouth shut.
Fast forward to when I'm 18. My sister is home from college and dad is over for a visit. They get into an argument and in a fit of rage my dad announces how he has never forgiven her for the abortion she got when she was 19 and subsequently killing his grand child.
I then realize the baby she aborted was in fact mine.....and as far as I know, I am the only one who knows since she has never mentioned that night."
"I'm a guy in my late 20s who was taken into care aged 7. Everyone around me already knows that I was brought up by foster families because I had a terrible early childhood. I deliberately keep it vague and say stuff like 'I'd rather not go into it' so that people will just assume I was abused in some way, and they'll stop asking about it.
The truth is that for the first 7 years of my life, I was brought up as a girl by my psycho birth mother who really wanted a daughter and didn't let the snag of giving birth to a boy stop her from trying to raise one.
She was a pretty successful professional in a legal field (not entirely sure what) and had me via anonymous sperm donor from a fertility clinic. She found out I was a boy at a late ultrasound and then moved across the country. Gave birth to me at home and continued to move about until I was 5 or so. It was just the two of us all my life, we had contact with other people, of course, but they rarely got very close. I had lots of friends, but was always supervised.
I found out way after that my mother's strong puritanical Christianity was a lie she used to explain why she was so strict about me being 'private' and never letting anyone see me get changed or anything. I just accepted all of this as fact, having never been told anything different.
I was sent to a religious school for girls and had a really great childhood. I was a bit of a tomboy, and played with lego and toy animals, rather than dolls and stuff, but that's not unusual and no one ever questioned I was a girl - even me. I knew about men and women, but had never really seen much of undressed people. My mother never ever spoke to me about it, but i kinda had the impression that when i grew up and got sweater kittens and stuff, my manhood would kinda fall off or something and i would be a woman, and other kids would keep their johnsons, and they'd be men.
Anyway, I carried on with my happy girlhood, and had a bunch of friends and everything was great until I was 7 and a teacher accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee over me at school. The liquid soaked through my clothes and was scalding me so the staff immediately stripped me out of my dress and underwear to get the hot coffee away from my skin. And then they found out.
The cops were called and I got taken to speak with whom I guess would be Social Services. They asked me a bunch of questions about life at home and stuff. Meanwhile, my mother was taken in for questioning too. She refused to acknowledge me as male and insisted I was her daughter. Because she was, y'know, delusional and stuff, I wasn't allowed to go back home but got placed with a foster family and went through loads of therapy and stuff.
The worst part was that literally overnight, I lost EVERYTHING. My mother, my home, all my toys, all my clothes, I moved school so lost all my friends, they cut all my hair off and told me i wasn't a girl anymore. It was really traumatic.
The first foster home wasn't that great. They had three boys already and going from a sheltered 'religious' only-child upbringing to a rough-and-tumble testosterone-filled environment was really difficult. They tried to force me to be masculine, and I was just too confused about what they wanted. Anything 'girly' was reprimanded and i felt so lost and alone because nothing I did was right.
I tried to commit suicide when I was 11 and again at 13 because I didn't feel I fitted in anywhere. After the second attempt, they moved me to a different foster family who were awesome. I consider them to be my parents. They actually stood up for me, the first thing was that they let me grow my hair. From when I got taken into care, they buzzed my hair short, and I hated it. they always had to hold me down and do it forcibly while i was crying and fighting. My new parents flatly refused to do it and said that loads of boys had long hair. They also let me quit karate and football and take up swimming and jazz dance. Since I'd been in care, no one had ever stood up for my right to choose what activities to do, or how to dress before. It was amazing.
In the end, I came out of it with a pretty healthy gender identity, I went through school and got my degree and have a pretty good job and an amazing, supportive wife. Everything looks great.
But I can never speak about my early childhood, and how I grew up as a little girl."
"Not life ruining but makes me feel terrible every time I think about it. I have a blind brother. When we were young, I used to get so frustrated at all the extra attention he received and how I had to be more responsible with my sibling than my peers. So, when my brother and I would go play, go to the store, or just generally go anywhere without adults, I would abandon him somewhere unfamiliar to him. Then, I would stand quietly and watch the anxiety set in as he tried to figure out where he was and what was going on.
Also, I was really intelligent as a child and knew that was my ticket to attention. When I would 'help' my brother with his homework, I would teach him all the wrong answers, so that I could continue being the smarter sibling. Today, my brother is my best friend. He goes to college and lives by himself. He's become one of the most intelligent men I've ever met. I'm trying to make it up to him now by being the best big sister ever, but I still feel so guilty at how I found him to be a burden when I was a kid."
"I faked having a chronic pain condition for five years in order to not have to attend middle school and high school (I was placed on a home bound program -- NOT homeschooling -- and allowed to study at my own pace from home). I was able to fool a team of medical professionals, my family, my teachers, and my friends into believing that my symptoms were real. Also, I racked up over $100,000 in medical bills for my family (that's just what the insurance didn't cover) during those five years (I did not realize the extent of the medical bills until late into my lie and it was one of the main reasons I decided enough was enough).
Upon graduating from high school and getting accepted into a good university, I decided that it was time for my 'pain' to go away. No one has questioned the fact that my symptoms vanished overnight, my medical team attributed it to the fact that I was nearing the end of puberty.
What I did was a terrible thing, and my family is continuing to drown in debt from medical bills (I plan to pay them back someday). I simply started the hoax because I was a 12-year-old who absolutely loathed middle school. I attempted to end the lie at the beginning of every school year, but eventually fell back into saying my 'pain' prevented me from attending school. Today I feel horrible about what I did, and I desperately want to tell everyone that it was a lie, but I know that I cannot because I will never gain credibility back again."
"Me and my cousin have been doing it for 10 years now. It started when she was 12 and I was 13. We had to babysit the younger kids in our family while the parents went to a party, and when they fell asleep, me and her got to talking about a lot of stuff. I made a move and started kissing her, and she didn't resist. We ended up doing it on her bed that night. We would end up doing it almost every weekend when we lived with our parents, telling our parents we were going out to hang out with some friends, but actually hook up. I'm 23 with my own apartment now, and she comes over almost every day to make out/fool around. Also, we're 1st cousins."
"My father never had anything other than boys, and my mother always wanted a girl. Try as they might, they just had tons of boys. When I was 6 years old, they adopted a girl who was the same age. Everyone was pleased, and she was quickly included into the family by everyone, and we all took an immediate shine to her. Especially me.
We started playing 'doctor' at 9. This progressed to fooling around by our early teens, and into actual heavy stuff shortly thereafter. We're both over 30 now. We do it whenever we see each other. We also like to pretend we are twins when we do it. We've both had our shares of girlfriends and boyfriends, but we always kept it up even while in those relationships. She's actually married now.
We mess around about two times a month, more when the family gets together for holidays. I can't even imagine what would happen if anyone ever found out. It's been close a few times, especially when we were younger, but nobody's ever caught on."
"My Great Uncle Jack used to live with my family. One day, he got hammered and had a bad fall that ended up causing him to bleed out.
I ended up finding him soon after he fell (I was 14 at the time, and had never seen such an awful sight) and I lost consciousness due to all the blood. When I eventually recovered, I called the ambulance and stayed with my uncle. He died in the back of the ambulance, holding my hand.
No one knows about what happened to me, and if they did they would realize that I'm the reason he's dead. If only I hadn't passed out.
"My daughter turns 5 years old next week. If anyone knew the truth behind her parentage, I could probably lose her forever.
I grew up in foster care, never knew my parents or siblings. My senior year, I met an older guy, and we dated for almost a year... getting pregnant about seven months in. One night while we were watching tv, the subject somehow came around to our real parents (he had been adopted as a young child). Turns out the man I was seeing, the father of my daughter... is my half-brother... we have the same mother. Our relationship didn't last, and he is not in her life, per his own choices.
My daughter is extremely smart, beautiful, and well-rounded. She'll never know the truth... her father and I made a pact to never tell her. I just hope she never needs a kidney or something."
"I accidentally killed seven people.
I put a rag into a new water heater exhaust to keep debris out and installed it in a rental.
I get a call a week later, there's been an accident. I show up and there's a ton of EMS and police. They ask me where the gas shutoff is, and I go down to shut the gas off and see the end of the rag I forgot sticking out of the top of the heater.
Ripped the rag out, shut the gas off and head upstairs only to be told all the tenants were DEAD.
I drink all day now and sleep. It's killing me from the inside every single day, but if I say anything my family is ruined; we have a bunch of rental properties and we'd be shut down."
"When I was younger and learning to explore myself, I would finish in a sock then wash and quickly dry it. I couldn't leave it hanging outside or use a dryer otherwise my family would've seen it and probably smell it or whatnot. So I'd put it inside my gas heater unit.
Unfortunately, one day my sock had caught on fire inside the unit, blew it up, and set my house on fire. Only my brother was home at the time, and he managed to survive but the house did not.
For five years we stayed in caravan parks whilst we waited for confirmation that it wasn't arson, and we could receive an insurance payout. It eventually came through, and we scraped together enough money to start rebuilding the house.
The house is still being rebuilt to this day and it shames me anytime I have to visit my parents living in a tiny mobile home where my backyard once was."
"When I was six, back when SNES was all the rage, I remember watching my older brother playing his game. He loved it. So much so that when I went to play it, he would only let me play it if I sat on his lap. So I did, because I was so desperate for my brother to love me (he always bullied me, especially when he would babysit me) and I was so happy that he was hugging me and treating me like a sister. One day, we brought the system up into my room. He told me I could only play if I was undressed. I said ok. He then took off his pants and laid me on the bed. I remember saying to him that I wanted to play the game. He said ok, but only if he could poke me. So I tried to play the game, but he kept bumping into me and shaking me. He got angry and yanked the controller from my hand and told me to close my eyes and that I could play again later. So I did. He just kept going. And then he stopped. This happened as a weekly thing. Sometimes he would let me play, others he would force me to just lay there.
He stopped violating me when I was seven and a half, and he left to go live with my dad. I never realized what had happened until my mom had the talk with me when I was ten. I didn't tell her because everyone loves my brother and I wanted him to love me. To this day, no one knows about this in my family except for me. We talked about it once when I was eighteen and graduating. He apologized and all what I could ask him was if he loved me, ever. He didn't say a word. I asked him why he did it. He asked me if I ever told anyone. I said no and I repeated my question. He said he couldn't tell me why and then left. He killed himself a week later. I still feel as though if I never asked him if I never brought it up, if he would still be alive. The messed up thing is that I would do anything, even letting him have his way with me, if it meant he was alive. Now the most messed up part. Let us flash forward to a few months ago (just about to hit ten years after his suicide). My dad found a letter my brother had written, in an envelope, tucked away in my dad's attic with all of my brothers belongings. My dad didn't open it. Just handed it to me as it was addressed to me. 'I did it because I love you.'"
"After graduating from high school, I went to a small out-of-state college where no one from high school knew me. I was told many times how impressive my false Australian accent was, so I decided it would be great fun to go through college pretending to be from Australia. All of my friends and even my girlfriend of two years think I'm Australian. I have a completely fake Australian identity, family, and past. I will soon be graduating, and I plan on asking the girl to marry me. Everything she knows about me is Australian I don't know how to tell her she doesn't really know me. Guess I'm forever a bloke."