29 People Reveal Past Secrets They Still Hide From Their Families

Family relationships can be complicated, and sometimes there are things we keep hidden from our loved ones. Whether it’s a mistake made in the past, a secret addiction, or a hidden identity, we all have secrets we choose not to share with our families.

In a recent Reddit post, a user asked: What is the biggest secret you’ve ever kept from your family? Here are the 29 best, most scandalous responses.


My family has no idea that I had an abortion when I was 23. They would never, ever forgive me.

Edit: I have no guilt or regret over my decision. If forgiveness was ever needed, I gave it to myself a long time ago. However, it would not be worth the headache I would get from my deeply right-wing family if they ever found out. All they ever need to know is that my mom thought i was pregnant and it turned out I wasn’t.

Second edit: instead of giving awards to this post please give money to pro-choice charities. I know what it is to be pregnant and desperate for options. There is nothing okay with denying that choice to others. – VodkaKahluaMilkCream


Honestly, just how much my cousin has improved my life.

My parents were total s**tbags. Both dead now, my aunt and uncle raised me. They were amazing people, sadly both of them died in a car accident a few years ago and left behind my cousin.

It was a hell of a battle gaining guardianship over her, even though she wanted that as well. (I’m male, and was single at the time) so that was a pain to deal with.

But yeah, she’s really just put a sparkle in my life that was never there before. I had a really s****y childhood, and my teenage years were rough till I moved in with my aunt and uncle.

Being responsible for her really pushed me to succeed, and now I’m living very comfortably, and semi retired. And I attribute that drive to better myself to her. Because after loosing her parents, I never want her to have a bad day again. – Unyielding_Cactus


Self-harm. And that the only reason I didn’t end myself between 11 and 17 was because I’m an only child and I was sure my mom would never survive.

It’s pretty damn awful to discover that you can actually not survive but just live also for yourself. And have real pleasure. That life can be enjoyable.

Edit : a bit horrified by how quick the number of likes is increasing … If anyone of you need it ; I love you, I give you a hug, I hope you enjoy your day and that you didn’t forgot to drink and eat. Am your SH godmother and no, you didn’t deserved to be so worry that you were afraid for the feelings of the adults surrounding you as a child. NEVER. You deserved to be helped and to live a normal childhood.

If anyone wants to talk, come to my DM. 876 days free from SH, so I can hear pretty anything.

EDIT 2 : I would have loved to create a kinda AA equivalent for the mental issues : depression, suicide, anxiety, bipolarity … When I see how many people want to talk, I really feel like it would be worthy.

EDIT 3 : Following the advice of a fellow Redditer, I created an AngelsAnonymous community to let a free space for anyone to talk about any mental issue you have, or any mark year you want to celebrate. I absolutely don’t know how to share it ^^’ but it’s written r/AngelsAnonymous . I’m going to try to create a few groups to talk in. Feel free to come in, you’re safe there. – Least-Designer7976


My 14 year old godson is actually my biological child. About 16 years ago, I disappeared in the middle of the night to start a new life away from my toxic family and went no contact with them for 3 years. I ended up getting pregnant from a one night stand. I was homeless at the time so keeping my son was not an option. My ex-best friend and her husband had been struggling to start a family of their own so they offered to adopt my child.

Plot twist: My husband and I currently have custody of my child and his 4 siblings. Their parents are in jail for domestic violence and child neglect.

EDIT: Holy bananas! I did not expect this to blow up. I want to clarity a few things:

1. My son does not know I am his biological mother but we plan to tell him soon. My husband and I plan to petition to adopt him and his siblings. Our lawyer warned us that his parentage would come up during the process. I want my son to hear it from me. He is currently battling PTSD due to the incident that brought the kids into our care. We are working with his therapist to find the best way to tell him the truth without causing him more trauma. He mental health is our top priority.

2. My ex-friend has endometriosis which affects fertility. Pregnancy can put endometriosis into remission for some women. She was one of the lucky ones. Once in remission, she had no trouble conceiving the other 4 kids.

3. My husband and I are raising 10 children. We are in the process of adopting my 12 year old cousin and took custody of her two older sisters last week. We also have a set of biological 1 year old twins. Eighteen months ago, we had **zero** kids. – TheUrbanFarmersWife


I had a miscarriage on my 17th birthday. I had found out I was pregnant 3 days after my HS boyfriend and I had broken up when my sister caught him f*****g my best friend. I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant, except him. I hadn’t figured out what I was going to do yet, or how to tell them.

Turned out to not matter, because 2 weeks later, again, on my birthday, I woke up in incredible pain and my bed was just covered in blood. I was home alone, so I just called my ex to take me to the hospital and never said a word to anyone in my family. He and the girl he cheated on me with showed up, and she cleaned up the bed while he drove me to the hospital. I had already passed the fetus – she found it.

It messed me up for a long time, and I tried to kill myself not long after that. My family does know about that, but they assumed it was a combination of my anxiety meds and my breakup. Those were factors, but the miscarriage was a big factor, too.

ETA: Thank you everyone for the kind words. This was nearly 15 years ago now, and I’d say I’be healed now. I still think about it from time to time, think about how I’d have a teenager by now, and how different my life would be (I came out as gay about 5 years later, started dating a woman and moved across the country with her, later marrying her. We have no children). I’m grateful that I could heal and see a better life for myself after that. – BurrSugar


I gave $10k to a woman overseas I met online so she could leave Egypt and study in Germany, despite being pretty broke at the time. She did actually go study in Germany and I met her there. A few years later she paid me back.

And yes there was a bit of romance at one point (long after the loan) but it didn’t last long. I should also mention we are the same age. We’re still close. – Independent-Ad-1921


Just how stressed out, depressed, and lonely I am. – julvin9mM


So…. My brother and I saw Aliens as a kid and we were super intrigued by the flame throwers.

In a feat of idiotic 13 year old brilliance, we determined that a super soaker filled with aquanet with a butane lighter strapped to the front might actually work the same.

To our utter shock, it did. Shot twenty foot streams of sticky flame. We were just overjoyed. Until said sticky flame hit the side of the house and caught it on fire. Oh s**t! So we race over and between my shirt and the hose get it out, but there’s a large dark spot on the side of the house.

So we disassemble and clean out the flamethrower and mums the word.

Thirty years later, we’re eating dinner over at the folks, and dad remarks they’ve painted the house and ‘finally got rid of that weird dark spot’. Much stealthy chortling ensued.

Honestly. How do kids survive childhood? We’re all idiots. – AndrogynousRain


My alcoholism.

I’m 600+ days sober

Edit: I should clarify. My wife knows, and she’s been my rock and my biggest supporter through the whole thing. But my wife and my therapist are the only people who know. My Mom and brother have no idea.

Edit edit: If you’re looking to stop drinking or have trouble doing so, go to r/stopdrinking. Those fine folks have talked me out of relapsing many times. – GetOutTheTapeMeasure


I was SAed from 11-16 by my “cousin” and I reported at 17. No one believed me. Half even blame me. Even my father has a familiar relationship with the guy. – ktward007


Okay I’ve been wanting a thread to share this in for ages.
So this is my secret with my mum and dad from everyone else in the family.
My dad is married to another woman. Mum is single. Mum and “dad” (hard to actually call him that) have been having an affair for 30+ years, even their best friends don’t know about it. I was an accident. Dad stepped out of picture because my parents didn’t want me to know about the affair and who he was. At 15 when I was told who he was, and tried to act cool to not upset my mum, he came back into my mum’s life (but absolutely not mine). I have three siblings who don’t know I exist. 2 brothers and a sister. They have the most amazing life, two parent income, holidays, all the things I wanted as a kid in a family of 3 with a single mum. I went to high school with my brother. I’m mid 20s now, I still want to meet them, I just can’t be the one to break the secret and crush two families. – Wanderingwarwalrus


This is hard, but just how frustrated I am with them. They wouldn’t have any clue just how angry I am at them for the things they did to me as a child and how much I blame them for my insecurities and lack of confidence as an adult. And that we might seem ok every time I visit with them, but how I just want to yell at them and ask them why, why they had to be so hard on me and couldn’t just accept me for what I was when I was a teenager. – Ok-Try4295


A secret from my grandparents who I adored. They were actually my great aunt and uncle, having raised my mother from the age of 2.
Her mother had passed away and her father was an alcoholic, who ended up enlisting and going to war during WWII.
I had a habit of looking through my parent’s wedding album when I was very young. I loved the dresses, etc. At the back of the book was their marriage license and I saw when I was about 11 that my mother’s last name was not the same as my grandparents last name. I asked her and she told me they were not her biological parents.
I never told them I knew because I didn’t want them to feel less than my grandparents which they absolutely were.
By this time my biological grandfather had passed.
They were always nana and grandpa to me and they were amazing grandparents. – TinktheChi


This was a long time ago, but I pretended to graduate from college after four years of my family paying for it. The last semester of my senior year I was told that because of an incomplete my sophomore year I wouldn’t be graduating. When I promised to re-take that class over the summer, they allowed me to march with my classmates in a cap and gown. Instead of telling my family the truth I just went ahead with it, the whole family came, big party etc. Of course I did not take the class that summer.

That hung over my head for 20+ years when after getting sober I completed my degree by working with the college and taking a local class. – OOIIOOIIOOIIOO


When I was a kid I dropped the rake while working in the yard and the handle landed in dog poop. Instead of cleaning it off I used duct tape to seal off the poop from the outside world. It ended up being used for almost 10 years after that and I always thought about that rakes dirty secret. The secret was poop! – whyunoletmepost


I had no home or place to stay when I was 19-21 years old. I slept in phone booths, sometimes at a friends house. Everything turned out all right once I got a girlfriend, moved into her/her moms house, started a career in programming.

Not many people actually know this. – MaesTim


I had a bilateral salpingectomy. Most of my (very Catholic, children -are-blessings-you-should-have-8!) family knows I was never into the idea of raising kids and/or being pregnant, but figured I’d change my mind. I got it done very young, and they think it was something with my ovary (true, a cyst ruptured, so I electively overkilled the whole problem), not that it was a fairly elective sterilization as a result. Now I just let them think that I “wasn’t blessed with children” – easier than the alternative. – abqkat


When I was 14 my mom confessed to me that my older sister is not my father’s biological kid. She said she was in an abusive relationship with my older sister’s bio dad. She finally resolved to leave him when she found out she was pregnant. She then met my dad a few months after giving birth and says that they fell in love. We used to get a lot of comments in school about us not looking alike, comments that only increased after my younger sister was born and happened to have a strong resemblance to me.

My father never treated us any differently. I loved my father a little more after finding out because I never once doubted how much he loved us all equally. I do resent my mother for having told me though. I wish she wouldn’t have made me a secret keeper from my entire immediate family (my dad doesn’t know I know). I was 14 young and confused. Now so much time has passed that I feel like it’s too late. I feel like part of me is betraying my sister for not telling her but I also feel like it’d be a betrayal if I did. F****d if you do, f****d if you don’t. Thanks mom. – NopeJustMe


That the reason I stress over my grades rights now is so that I have good enough grades to go to an abroad university on a scholarship and live my life there. It’s not because I want to make my family proud or something, nope. Just want to live. – benaamishere


I posed nude in a tasteful art project when i was 20.

It was supposed to be a small private exhibition but then it blew up and at one point my naked image was on our major cities website to advertise a popular art festival and a printed large version was displayed at a popular market during the festival. It was also printed in a book series.

I was so worried my parents would see but so far it’s been 12 years and they still don’t know. I am actually really proud of the work we did and sometimes consider showing them the book but they may murder me.

Edit: it was tasteful photos about capturing unsexualised nudity. No I will not share it on my anonymous account. I was a professional model who was compensated and consented to the project as the photographer was someone I have immense faith in. Life lesson- if it interests you than have tasteful nudes taken, one day you’ll look back and appreciate them. – sweetparamour79


I have no idea who I am.

Like physically or mentally. My family thinks I’m a strong willed guy who loves certain things.

But it isn’t like that at all. I’m nothing like that and I don’t feel like I know myself who I am. It’s like I’m an actor in mutiple plays and have a certain different character for each individual interaction and situation. To be honest, I don’t even know what my real personality is like.

Edit: thank you all for the kind comments and help, I really appreciate this! Not to worry this isn’t that bad, I’m fine. Just wanted to share this feeling/experience. – Neko_Nek0


I was in a Long distance relationship with someone from another country for 2 years. I would travel nearly every month to visit them or they would come to me. They had no idea when they messaged me, I was sometimes out of the country, either in their country or on a trip somewhere else. I was living a completely different life that barely anyone knew about.


It’s been interesting to read some other peoples similar experiences. A lot of people are also experiencing this due to culture, religion or families not supporting.

My reason was a little different. I had come out of a relationship with a very abusive and dangerous person. He had completely embedded themselves in my family’s life and when I finally left them, I lost my family with it.

I moved to the next town over and kept contact with my parents but all information about daily life was hidden. I built a life slowly, and part of that was a solo trip abroad, where I met someone.

I was far too terrified to tell them the truth about what had happened with my ex. I didn’t think they’d believe me and I didn’t want them to know. My parents eventually cut ties with him but my brother stayed friends with him after. I went NC with my brother for 4 years in total.

I was so scared my ex would find out and come looking for me due to jealousy that the relationship was kept a secret from most people I knew, including my parents in case they let something slip to my brother.

I have left the country now for good, and I’m sure there’s people who I have some degree of connection to, that have no idea I ever left. I’ve always been someone that has kept their cards close to their chest, and life circumstances have contributed to that greatly. – Keepdreamingkiddo


Mom had a handmade heirloom blanket from her great grandmother.

When I was a kid, my action figures decided to torture my sister’s barbies for information on the location of the secret base. When the Barbie General still wouldn’t talk after having her arm melted to a stump on the spinny bit on top of the lawnmower engine, she was forced to watch as her co-conspirators melted in a tupperware vat of gasoline.

When the interrogation started getting out of hand I threw water on the gasoline to put out the fire, splashing it on the side of the house and setting the house on fire. I panicked, ran inside, grabbed the first heirloom blanket I could find and smothered the fire, melting one side of the blanket.

My parents’ relatively uninspired interrogation techniques were unable to solve the mystery of the missing heirloom. – kingofmoron


I lost one of my mom’s pearl earrings that she wore on her wedding day. Down the drain when I was like 8 years old. Haven’t told her to this day….pretty sure sure thinks she misplaced it 🙁 – LLove666


My dad’s brother adopted me. They didn’t know I found my biological mom. I didn’t talk to her though. – spicykaramelee


That I have depression (or had, Idk I handle it a lot better now but always scary to let the guard down) and did 2 years of therapy as soon as I could afford it on my own. My mom is kind of against therapy and doesn’t believe in depression too much and I don’t want to let her down. Also I don’t want them to worry about me ever. – Real_Winner2423


Growing up our house was never…clean and tidy. It wasn’t disgusting or hoarder like. We cleaned and vacuumed, but we also had a lot of s**t just stacked in corners and on shelves that after a while, that was where those things belonged. Because of this we really didn’t use the dining room as a dining room. The table was pushed up against the wall and was used as quasi-work desk/storage area.

One day when I was like 10 or so, I was sitting at one of the chairs while on the phone with my mom. She had a habit of droning on and on and on. When I am bored, I fidget. I grabbed one of her lighters that was just laying around and I was lighting little bits of paper towel on fire. Nothing big, just enough to see the flame go, immediately consume the whole thing and then go out and fall into her ashtray. Then I grabbed a full paper towel and lit it. The thing burned around so fast that it startled me and I dropped it on the carpet. Where it very quickly burned/melted the cheap carpet on the floor in a VERY noticeable spot. I start freaking out and look over and there was a box of cleaning solution. I grabbed some bleach hoping that it would bleach out the black burned mess and I could pass it off as I accidentally spilled it.

Yeah, it just turned to beige carpet a shade or orange with little burned carpet fibers. I opened every window I could and moved the box of cleaning supplies over the spot. Keep in mind I am doing all of this while still on the phone with my mom. I braced for the next week or so for someone to find it and eventually come to the conclusion that it was me. No one came across it for months, and when they did it was all just assumed that one of the chemicals leaked out and did it. – DisownedByMother


My family thinks I’m still studying. I haven’t told them that I’ve basically dropped out because of my sleep problems. Right now I do nothing but write, do comedy, paint and drink beer. They think I’m gonna have a degree in about a month and a half, so that’s gonna be a fun talk. – Account-by-force


Alright, so I gotta admit, I swiped some cash from our safe. I feel super guilty about it, but I just can’t bring myself to come clean. I have no clue how they’re gonna react. – Ill-Ad-8421

Mike Primavera

Mike Primavera is a Chicago-based comedy writer even though he doesn't HAVE to work. He lives comfortably off of his family's pasta fortune. Follow him on all social media at @primawesome