"Christmas eve during high school. My mom and sisters were at church services. My dad was on the couch drinking beer. We talked about why he would never go to church. 'What I did over there in the war is unforgivable,' was his stated reason. We talked about military service, the country he fought in, the country he had R&R in.
'You have a half brother in Japan.'
Gobsmacked me. He went on to make me promise never to tell mom. I've never told anyone in the family. Later when I expressed an interest in going to Japan to teach English as a second language he strongly discouraged me. I don't know if he thought I had a hidden agenda in that desire or not. But anytime the subject was raised it was smacked down" (Source).
"I was a good friend with someone who used to be a drug addict with a violent past. Eventually he had a faith conversion and became a completely changed man. Years later he confessed to me that when he was in his late teens or early twenties, he would go out and beat up gay men. That in itself was shocking, but he went on to say that one time he beat up a man so badly that he thought that he might have killed him so he fled the city. I was shocked and wished that he hadn't told me. I did some research and found that there were no unsolved murders in that city for that time period, so the man hadn't died" (Source).
"My sister and I grew up knowing that we had an older brother who died in infancy when the nurse who was caring for him dropped him. My father had hired a nurse to care for him when my mother suffered hemorrhaging after they returned home after the birth. We knew this was a source of pain for our parents, and it wasn't discussed often. This occurred in 1931. My sister was born in 1940, and I followed in 1949.
In the '90s I attended a family reunion of my mother's family and thought to ask an uncle where my brother was buried. He suddenly became very emotional and said, 'Your poor mother, the nurse killed him!' He proceeded to tell me that the nurse throttled my infant brother on his temples with her shoe. The shoe imprint was very clear at autopsy.
When I investigated further with other relatives, I discovered that everyone knew the true story but had kept it secret to spare my mother. I also realized that when my mother was dying she started to tell me by saying that when the baby died my father became obsessed with justice and was spending all his time at the county attorney's office. She begged him to come home for her, and he did. I think she wanted to tell me but couldn't face my questions or reopening her wounds especially in her weakened condition. I respect that completely" (Source).
"Actually got told this the other day, its funny, weird and very surprising for me.
My step sister, despite always treating me like dirt, was actually crushing on me from 7th grade until senior year (we are only three months apart in age), and the reason she flaunted her boyfriends in front of me was to make me jealous.
I thought she was joking and laughed...until I realized she was very serious.
Very surprising, but the reason she never said anything was because we have been 'siblings' since we were three. We always knew we weren't related by blood, but it still feels weird that my 'sister' thought I was the ideal man...She got over it, and is dating a really great guy who I fully approve of" (Source).
"I have 3 siblings, I am the eldest with 2 younger brothers. I had an elder sister who died in a tragic accident as a teenager more than a decade ago. When she was alive, she used to display symptoms of autism / abnormal social behaviors.
My mother, during a moment of weakness two weeks ago, revealed that if not for the financial conditions during the early days of my father's career, the family may have been larger. Which didn't make sense until she revealed that my father had made her go through 4 abortions since he wasn't financially stable during those pregnancies.
She also revealed that with my eldest sister, they had tried a different method of terminating pregnancy which was obviously unsuccessful. My late sister's abnormal mental conditions can possibly be attributed to the failed abortion attempt.
My parents had brought us up beautifully and I hold nothing against them. But it is definitely a huge family secret" (Source).
"One day, I came home from school, and my mother said, 'I have bad news. Ryan was killed today in a car accident.' Ryan was the older brother of my closest friend. Our entire families were intertwined: I was always over their house, and called his parents 'aunt' and 'uncle,' so Ryan was like a brother to me, too. He was a teenager, and now he was dead.
We spent many of the following days and evenings at Ryan's family's house. They were inconsolable. Another brother came from out of town and fainted when he walked in. Ryan's friends came to the door to ask if he could go out with them that night. Someone had to be recruited to tell them that their friend had died a few hours earlier. All these teenaged boys and adults, breaking down sobbing. I was 12, and never knew older people could react like that.
Years passed. I happened to mention Ryan's car accident while talking about something else with my mother. She grew silent, then whispered, 'That wasn't what happened.'
What HAD happened still haunts me. Evidently Ryan had a terrible trip on some hallucinogen, or PCP, no one knows for sure. He took a pistol, forced his mother and brother into a bedroom, and said he was going to kill them both. They pleaded with him, but he was ranting. My friend, just a kid himself, freaked out and fled the room, leading his brother to become disoriented and frantic. And then Ryan shot himself in the head in front of his mother.
I still remember the moment my own mother told me the true story. I don't know how this family 'recovered' from that kind of event, or what that would even mean. They moved away shortly after, needing to 'get away from it'" (Source).
"Several ex girlfriends have told me some shocking things. One told me that when she was about 9 or 10 years old, her 14 year old brother said, 'I love you' and got her naked and tried to have sex with her. She told me that he couldn't get it in so they just hugged for a while and they never talked about it. She wasn't traumatized. She thought it was cool that he would want to do that with her. But why would she tell me about that?
Another girlfriend told me that her ex of several years turned out to be gay. Another told me that she only had one serious boyfriend before me and he killed himself after she dumped him" (Source).
"I have been the bearer of many secrets in my life. Here are the most surprising:
Two women, on separate occasions, randomly blurted being sexually abused by their father. It was probably more shocking than surprising.
My sidekick in high school told me her real mother was a prostitute and her dad was one of her mom's customers.
My best adult friend told me he stole a credit card and went shopping at Barneys. He spent over 20 grand in about an hour. Same friend a decade later revealed having attempted suicide only to wake up the next day. I would have liked to have seen my face at that moment. The final secrets had to do with his partners: one was an alcoholic, the other HIV+. He hid these facts from me fearing judgement and disapproval.
A middle age woman admits to being an alcoholic and never learning how to take care of herself, so she stays married.
A new friend tells me her husband 'gave' her cervical cancer from his multiple affairs and was now dumping her and their two year old.
An old roomie reveals he is in love with me. I thought it was a lame attempt to get a green card. Hmmm, if he was from Europe I might have considered it.
I dated a cop. He told me things about fellow police officers' activities that were mind numbing, on the SECOND DATE.
The last man I dated had PTSD. He was in Afghanistan for 8 years. He admitted having taken a photo holding a human head. He also described in detail some of what he'd done; people he killed. These were secrets spilled after drinking bouts.
I could go on, but now I am sad. So many revelations. I never really thought about them all at one time" (Source).
"When I was a 19 years old in college, I signed up for the free counseling services to address my anxiety. When I was there I told the counselor I had never known much about my biological father, as I was still with my biological mom and raised & adopted at 4 years old by the man I call my dad. I told her I didn't care to know anything about my biological father, so I had never asked my mom for details. The counselor was convinced I needed to know about him and that I should ask.
So that evening I went home to my mom's room and sat on her bed. I said casually, 'Why don't you ever talk about my biological father?.' Sarcastically I noted, 'It's not like he killed someone or something.'
She stared silently at me with concern and knowing. My eyes went big and I said, 'Are you serious?' She began to tell me how my biological father had brutally murdered the wife he had after my mom. My mom had seen signs of his instability and worried that he was dangerous. When she was pregnant with me she moved away from him and got a divorce from afar. He eventually murdered his new wife leaving behind my two half brothers, whom I've just begun to develop a relationship with now that I am 25. I'll never forget that day in her room when she told me that story. Half my genetics come from that man so I think it was good to know the truth, but it's been even better to have half brothers who talk like me, are open to me, and share various characteristics with me" (Source).
"This incident happened around 2005 when I was pursuing my engineering degree. I am an average built boy with very good looks a.k.a cute - at least that's what I am being told every now and then. My family was sharing a flat with a Navy family that had an adolescence daughter.
6 years later I meet up with her. I was working as an engineer and she was doing her grads. We started chatting a lot and one night, she confessed to me that she had a huge crush on me in those years while we lived together. Even sitting together on a sofa bed with our legs touching (obviously me being happily ignorant about it) would give her goose bumps.
A few nights later, she told me that while we were living together, whenever I would go to toilet, she would sneak inside the bathroom and have a peek - to feel/smell or god knows what - while I was happily attending nature's call in my own personal space!!!!
This is the weirdest s--t somebody has ever told me in my entire life. I am still not sure what pleasures she derived out of it, but hey, people are weird" (Source).
"My uncle (father's brother) was the product of rape. That blew my mind. I always wondered why they looked so different. Not just a little different, but very different. My uncle didn't resemble my grandmother either, not even a little.
When my grandfather was away during WWII, my grandmother was attacked one evening on her way home from work. I know what some of you are thinking. However, she called the police and had her family come to help her after a very obvious physical assault, so she wasn't covering up an ongoing affair. My uncle was born approximately nine months later.
My mother blurted it out one evening while I was at their house. I was in my mid 20's when I learned about this. Again, it was a huge shock to me" (Source).
"I used to work at what I called 'the bean dip factory.' There was a (physically) attractive young woman who had been recently hired. It took a couple of weeks before we started to realize that she was a vapid, ignorant woman who had been skating along on her good looks. One day we were eating lunch in the miserable, cement break room. There were about 8 of us crammed in the tiny little space, eating our crappy brown bag lunches. Suddenly this self-absorbed little b---h starts telling us this story about how she was having problems with her neighbors dog. I can't remember what the problem was because it was completely over shadowed by what she revealed next.
In a very calm and reasonable voice she described how she rolled up some rat poison into a raw hamburger ball and tossed it over the fence!!!!!!! She was clearly a psychopath or something because she didn't seem to have any awareness that what she had done was beyond horrible. She actually smiled and said 'problem solved.'
To this day (decades later) I am still speechless and appalled. Of course everybody hated her after that and she quit not too long after" (Source).
"Not so much a secret, but totally a surprise. I have an older (by 2 years) brother. Our cousins are 4 years apart in age. So when my brother was 18, I was 16, my cousin 'A' was 17, and his brother, cousin 'B' was 13. My cousins lived in a different part of town and attended different schools. We were related, but far from 'close-knit.'
When I was in 11th grade, I lost my virginity to 'Carla,' a girl a couple of years older than me.
While in our mid-to-late 20s, all of us were at a family picnic, talking, and the conversation turned to sexual exploits, and our first time actually 'doing it.'
Long story short: Over the course of about 5 years, we'd all lost our virginity to Carla! None of us knew any of the others even knew Carla, or if Carla knew she was like the family 'rite of passage'" (Source).
"When I was in college, I had a friend who was single and considered as a good girl by everyone. I was very close to her and I used to share all my secrets with her. But during fourth year, her behaviour changed a lot. She was sad most of the times and always wanted to be alone. I also have seen her crying. When I asked for the reason, she simply replied 'nothing.' One day I saw her online in Facebook at 1 am, which is unusual as she goes to sleep before 10pm. I messaged her, 'Still awake?' and the reply came, 'I'm not her. I am her husband.' I was shocked and didn't reply back. Next day, she told me that it was her brother who messaged me from her Facebook account which she logged in with her brother's phone and forgot to logout. I couldn't believe that but still pretended to believe.
One day she came early to class. She told me her secret which was not what I expected. She was in love when she was 15 y/o with a guy who was 30 y/o then. The guy married another girl due to his family pressure and now has two kids. My friend was heart broken. When she was in 2nd year of college, the guy contacted her and told that he was not happy with his marriage. My friend and the guy continued their relationship. After a few months, the guy's wife found out about the affair. The guy's wife asked my friend not to ruin their marriage, but my friend ignored her. The guy asked my friend for a 'living together' relationship after she completes her degree. She refused. My friend wants the guy to be legally separated from his wife and marry her if he wishes to live together for which he refused. Thus the problem started between them. My friend didn't know what to do and asked me, 'What should I do now?'
After hearing her story, I suggested her to break up with him. She replied, 'You don't know about love. You don't know how hard it is to break up and move on.' I told her that I only wanted her to be happy and she has to make the correct decision. I tried to convince her that what she doing was wrong. But she didn't listen. Then we didn't talk too much. 'A secret' ruined our friendship" (Source).
"Strangers who overshare within minutes of meeting them throw me off, oh about 100% of the time.
Once upon a time, I shared a ski lift with a distinguished gentleman in Utah. And for those who don't know, ski-lift rides can be awkward experiences on their own, you are sharing a very small bench for as long as 15 minutes in perfect silence.
But silence was a gift I would not enjoy that day. When this regal fellow, who smelled of alcohol (at 10 AM) and was full of energy dropped into the seat next to me, I realized it was going to be a long, long ride.
He was a close-talker who immediately began detailing his exploits with last-night's prostitute. At one point, he had me hold his ski poles so that he could get his phone out to show me graphic pictures of both of them together. It was all the more bizarre because this guy was 50-ish years old, apparently a drunk frat guy was living inside his body.
I reached critical mass when he started telling me about an STD he got months prior. I remember looking down and contemplating if I could survive the fall" (Source).
"After my best friend from high school got divorced, his ex-father-in-law made it his business to make sure everyone knew my friend was gay. It didn't shock me to hear and it didn't really bother me one way or another. I was a little more shocked to hear that he was a t-girl (his words). Still, live and let live. However, his female persona is a twenty something girl called Rachel who doesn't have children. My school friend is in his 50s and had a daughter. She was 2 when he divorced. My friend would ignore her cries for care because, in his female persona, he didn't have children. He also makes gay porn and there's stories he rented himself out. Most of this washes off me but ignoring his daughter is unforgivable" (Source).
"A friend, who has been married for many years, told me how he and his wife are sexually incompatible. From the outside, they're a solid couple who seem very much in love after nearly a decade of being together. However, while they're emotionally very much together, sexually they're anything but.
He told me that while they are intimate in the form of kissing and holding hands, they almost never have sex. It shocks me how a couple can be together despite the obvious lack of sexual intimacy, but they've remained together since they can't imagine living with anyone else.
But what makes is stranger still is that my friend admitted to having had one night stands and visiting prostitutes to make up for the lack of sex, but keeps it a secret since he doesn't want to lose his wife. Neither of them wants an open marriage (a little hypocritical of my friend I think) but he claims the sleeping around acts like a pressure release valve.
It boggles my mind, since to my mind sexual relations are pretty much the one thing you shouldn't have outside of marriage, but they've turned the notion on its head, with other intimacy trumping the near-lack of sex" (Source).