Thought Catalog

43 People Confess Their Family’s Deepest, Darkest Secret

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Flickr / Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli
Flickr / Araí Moleri Riva-Zucchelli
Found on AskReddit.

1. My cousin robbed convenience stores with a syringe full of blood claiming it was infected with AIDS.

“My cousin robbed convenience stores with a syringe full of blood claiming it was infected with AIDS. It wasn’t, and he’s still in prison.”


2. My grandma used to put kittens in plastic bags and bury them alive.

“My grandma used to put kittens in plastic bags and bury them alive so that her kids might not be tempted to feed them (they were really poor).”


3. My Jewish grandfather survived the Nazis by joining Hitler Youth.

“My grandfather was an illegal immigrant. He was born in Czechoslovakia to a Jewish mother and Catholic father and lived in Prague. When Germany took over Czechoslovakia in ’39 my grandfather got Catholic papers and joined the Hitler Youth. When he was old enough he became a merchant seaman. In June of ’41 or ’42 (I forget) he was unloading cargo in New York and fled. Family friends hid him for a while and he surfaced with a whole new identity.”


4. My uncle was a serial killer.

“My uncle was a serial killer. I’d prefer not to go into specifics, but there was a lot of media attention, and it was a fucking nightmare, and we eventually moved to another state and changed our names. It’s been ages, but it’s still looming over us. We never really talk about him, even when it’s just the family. Just trying to move on, you know.”


5. My mom caught my uncle screwing a cow.

“My mom caught my uncle screwing a cow.”


6. I left home at 14 because I didn’t want to be raped.

“I left home at 14 because I didn’t want to be raped. I wasn’t able to ever tell because I didn’t want to be taken away to foster care. My mom was a heroin junkie (still is, 20+ years later) and my dad was a drunk but he’s sober now.”


7. A lot of my family members have tried to eat shotguns and accidentally got their toes stuck in the trigger guards.

“I didn’t think my family had one.

We do.

Apparently a lot of my family members have tried to eat shotguns and accidentally got their toes stuck in the trigger guards. Also, apparently, this constitutes a deep dark secret in my family. It must be hidden with shame and lies.”


8. My older cousin delivered her baby in a bathtub and disposed of it in a black garbage bag.

“My older cousin got pregnant, didn’t tell anyone, carried it for nine months and had it at home in the bathtub while her mom and dad were at work. She then proceeded to put the baby in a black trash bag and throw it away at the high school cafeteria dumpster where her mom worked. The only reason anyone found out is because instead of cutting the umbilical cord she ripped it out along with the placenta, causing her to hemorrhage and pass out. The ER docs knew right away she had had a baby. It all got swept under the rug cause of my grandmother’s wealth and political ties.”


9. My uncle murdered his mother and most of my family at a family BBQ.

“My uncle murdered his mother and most of my family at a family BBQ after robbing a gas station then hung himself in jail. Google Elbert Hurd Jr.”


10. My father raped his younger brother.

“My father, when he was a teenager, raped his brother when he was not yet a teenager. I don’t know exact ages.”


11. My grandmother walked in on her father having sex with another man.

“My grandmother walked in on her father having sex with another man when she was around 14 or 15. She never told my great grandmother and somehow she never found out.”


12. My entire family consists of drug dealers, rapists, child abusers, murderers, and alcoholics.

“My dad’s side are all drug dealers, rapists, and murderers.

My mom’s side are all drug users, rapists, child abusers, and alcoholics…

I’m the only ‘normal’ one here. Can’t wait to get out.”


13. My cross-dressing, child-porn-collecting relative hung himself in his barn with his own pantyhose.

“There was the man who was so embarrassed by his love of cross-dressing that he hung himself in his barn with his own pantyhose. Didn’t think it was possible to do that without tearing it, but whatever. He managed to get it done. When my grandpa’s brother died, the family pitched in to clean out his house. We found tons of passports under fake names and child porn.”


14. A backwoods carnival of incest and pedophilia.

“My father was the oldest of eight backwoods hillbilly children. His dad was a raging alcoholic that only came home long enough to knock up grandma again and again.

Grandma had to get a full-time job in the 50s to support all eight kids. This left them dirt-poor and completely with out adult supervision as they hit puberty.

Yep. They all started fucking each other.

My dad had sex with his sisters first and then continually. FOR HIS WHOLE LIFE!!!

He was also, unbeknownst to us, a raging pedophile. Every single friend that I ever brought over as a kid, he molested.

The day the roof caved in and the truth came out, it took him 12 hours to confess almost 60 years of infidelity, incest and pedophilia. He had a good lawyer and didn’t spend one day in jail.

He was dead two years later, eaten up with cancer. Karma, man.”


15. My mom’s grandfather was also her dad.

“My mom’s side of my family is pretty fucked-up. My mom’s grandfather was also her dad. Her mom had her when she was 13, and my mom’s sister came a year later. Also, while my mom’s sister was dying of MS, her husband was already dating his now second wife. He even brought her to Christmas while she laid in a hospital bed in the back of the house. The whole family was cool with this…we haven’t spoken to any of them since.”


16. My four-year-old niece is being abused at the moment.

“What my four-year-old niece is experiencing is abuse. She stays weekends here from time to time. The other day, my mom picked her up and brought her here and she told us she was hungry. I asked her what she had to eat that day and she frowned and told me ‘only goldfish.’ She also tells us she never gets told she’s loved while at home. She has weird disassociate episodes that I’ve witnessed. She doesn’t get bathed or brushes her teeth at home and as a result, has had more yeast infections in her four years than I’ve had in my entire life. When she was a baby, she would just be left in her crib all day. Her mom is one of those ‘full-time mom’ people, she doesn’t work at all. And yet their house is a hoarder house and the kid is neglected. They have two dogs that are treated even worse. My parents are covering it up. I’m afraid to report the situation until I move out soon, because everyone would know it’s me and my brother has a short, short temper and has already physically threatened me over much lesser perceived slights. He also has illegal unregistered guns.”


17. My family is a whole chain reaction of abuse.

“My grandfather used to physically abuse my grandmother. Grandmother then started abusing my father. My father abused my mother. They divorced when I was four years old. Mom took her anger out on my sister and I and started abusing us too from the age 4-15. She would slam us against the walls, pull our hair, pinch us, slap us and throw stuff at us. She has changed though, and I forgive her. I can’t say it hasn’t affected me.”


18. My mom didn’t know she had a half-sister until my grandpa died.

“After my grandpa died my mom learned she had a half-sister that my grandma wouldn’t let anyone know about. My mom felt robbed of having a sister, since her full sister is crazy as hell.”


19. My brother wasn’t in church camp, he was in prison.

“We tell people my brother went to church camp for a couple years, but he was really in prison.”


20. My dad lived in our garage from the time I was 12.

“My dad lived in our garage from the time I was 12. He decided to split up with my mom but he couldn’t really afford to live on his own. People mostly thought everything was normal except the neighbors who told me later that they knew all about it because they could here my mom yelling at him through the wall.

I used to ‘visit’ sometimes, but he was kind of mean to me and generally unhappy and this became more obvious when I got older.

My mom used to tease him by talking really loud about what she was cooking. The kitchen shared a wall with the garage and she’d be like, doesn’t this lasagna look PERFECT!! And I think he could smell it anyway.

I’m pretty sure he just came in late at night and ate some of the leftovers anyway. He was only supposed to come in to go to the basement to use the bathroom or the washer, but he had the run of the house if she wasn’t home which was frankly rare.”


21. My grandfather tried to kill my dad but wound up killing himself instead.

“My grandfather beat my father and his brothers and his mom. My dad quit school and worked three jobs to save money without telling anyone. When he had enough money, after like 2-3 years of doing that, he moved him and his brothers out of the house in the middle of the night when his dad was out drinking, never to return. The guy was pissed, to the point he somehow tracked down my dad at work (it was some factory job where he’d gotten my grandmother a job as well). Anyways he entered the building with an axe and proceeded to try to kill my dad, who apparently was able to defend himself and my grandmother somehow. Not sure why he wasn’t arrested but he came back with a gun on another day and waited in the parking lot since they had his picture at the factory and were told to keep him out. Anyways luckily my dad wasn’t working that day. For whatever reason he decided to kill himself instead. There was some note on him about how much he hated my dad for ruining his life and he was sure they’d see each other in hell after he took them both there. A very fucked-up thing on all fronts.”


22. Grandma and grandma were not buried in a casket; their ashes are in mom’s laundry room.

“Grandma and grandpa are not buried in the casket as the rest of the family believes. They were cremated and now reside in the laundry room at my mom’s house.”


23. Mother and son were raised as siblings.

“One of my great-grand-somethings had a baby out of wedlock. She hid the baby boy out in a field. The grandmother of the child (without knowing the child existed) found a child in a field. So mother and son were raised as siblings and nobody knew for a very long time. It’s very confusing…”


24. My grandfather had sex regularly with my aunt, who sexually abused me.

“My grandfather had sex regularly with my aunt. My aunt, in turn, sexually abused me when I was a kid.”


25. My grandpa is a violent, incestuous rapist.

“My POS grandpa raped my aunt at 9 years old and beat my uncles, aunt, grandma, and mom. My aunt is hard of hearing because he beat her so much, she was very promiscuous when younger and has issues with hey gynecologic health because infections and STIs.

The family is still full contact with him. I only learned about this when I was 12 and vowed to never hug him again and limited talking to him. My mom still tries to convince me to hug him in an attempt to get money, but I told her fuck that. My mom tries to say she’s over it, but she’s totally still resentful. She also tells me to be extra nice to my aunt but shit, she’s one of the most annoying persons I know. I can’t handle talking to her for too long so that’s too bad, I guess.

My other aunt (youngest) doesn’t know about the abuse, apparently, or she doesn’t care. She’s daddy’s little girl. Grandpa is currently in Bolivia doing whatever the fuck; grandma regularly prays he will die soon. Nobody good no contact because he’s the ‘head of the household’ and Latino families give their preference to men. Plus in Bolivia it’s common to beat your wife, especially in indigenous cultures like ours.

I really dislike most of them and say my extended family can fuck off. When I’m about 25+ I want to start my own that’s not totally fucked.”


26. My mother is an opioid addict.

“Me and my mother watched my dad pass; it was very hard for us and led my mother to opioids and prescription painkillers. We than became homeless because my mother loved drugs more than me she said. She hated me because I reminded her of my father but I loved my mom. I would often times steal from people and try to save up enough money to rent someplace cheap for me and my mother, but all she ever did was laugh at me. I became very violent and ended up doing two years and then eight in a school for troubled children. No one knew I was homeless and no one knew my mom did drugs.”


27. One of my cousins was a fire-starter.

“My one cousin, as a child, would start fires. It led to him burning down their house when he was like seven or eight. He went away to a special child’s psych hospital where he will stay until he was eighteen. At eighteen, they simply unloaded my cousin back into society, hoping for the best. Been a few years since his release; so far he hasn’t burned down any more houses.”


28. My millionaire junkie uncle’s three daughters can’t wait for him to die.

“My millionaire uncle is losing his mind from ODing on drugs all the time. He was in the hospital for a week last time and my evil aunt told people it was a panic attack due to stress. The other secret is that his three daughters that ‘work’ at his law firm think they will eventually get the company when he dies. They don’t know that our other cousin that they loathe is going to be the one owning it because he’s the only one with a law degree. When my uncle does die I’m sure they’ll have a nice inheritance, but the money will dry up fast with how they spend it and my other cousin plans to fire them ASAP.”


29. My aunt is a grade-A cunt.

“I have a cousin who was orphaned at a young age and taken in by my aunt. My aunt is a grade-A cunt, and years of abuse ensued. It all culminated in a severe beatdown which prompted my then 16-year-old cousin to run away from home, notify the police, and get a restraining order. She then spent the next two years in foster care. She’s successful and living a happy life now.


30. I have a brother no one ever talks about.

“I have a brother who no one ever talks about. I tell friends that I am an only child because I was essentially raised as one, but this guy exists who we just never acknowledge. When I was little, I adored him, but even I forget he exists sometimes.

He was kicked out of the house when I was five after he tried to beat the shit out of my mother. It was the end of a long string of incidents and at that point, he was given the choice between going to a live-in counseling program or not being welcome in the house any longer. He chose to leave. So from the age of five on, I was raised as the lone child in the house.

About five years ago I tried to reestablish contact with him and it was made abundantly clear that he wanted nothing to do with me. No big loss.”


31. My grandfather and two uncles raped and molested my mentally handicapped aunt for years when she was little.

“My great-great-great-uncle worked at a small-town jail in the South. There was a fire one night and they released all the white inmates but let the building burn down with all the African Americans still inside.

My grandfather and two uncles raped and molested my mentally handicapped aunt for years when she was little.

My other uncle raped his wife and killed himself in jail.

My cousin went to prison for murdering a little girl.

My dad killed a man when he was 20 but never got caught.

The list could go on and on. I don’t speak to that side of the family.”


32. I’m blood-related to James Holmes, the Aurora Theater Shooter.

“My paternal great-grandparents were first cousins. I’m blood-related to James Holmes, the Aurora Theater Shooter. (This makes me sick to type, and I don’t tell most people this.)”


33. I seriously have a great-grandmother named Fannie Raper.

“I seriously have a great-grandmother named Fannie Raper.”


34. My boyfriend’s cousin went to jail for armed robbery and for some charges related to dealing drugs.

“My boyfriend’s cousin went to jail for armed robbery and for some charges related to dealing drugs. He and the entire family lied to his girlfriend and said that he had enlisted in the military. They posted a YouTube video of him coming back from a supposed deployment and surprising her, it has 20k+ views. He got dog tags, too.”


35. My family is intensely fucked up, but since I’m bisexual, I’m the black sheep.

“Let’s see….

My great-great grandpa ‘Pete’ (real name Pieter Mintz) was a German soldier during WWI. He was captured and shipped to upstate South Carolina and held at Camp Sevier as a POW. After the war, he was released and told he could return to Germany or stay in the USA. He stayed. Told people he was from Poland because of anti-German sentiment.

My great grandma (daughter of aforementioned papa Pete) had an affair with the neighbor ‘A,’ resulting in the birth of my Great Aunt ‘J.’ No one figured it out until decades later—well after the death of Great Grandpa—when ‘A’ came around for Christmas and brought his kids. All of whom where tall, big-boned, and redheaded. Just like Great Aunt ‘J.’

My grandma (of the same line as papa Pete and ‘great grandma the adulteress’) ran illegal immigrants across the US/Mexican border with the help of her boyfriend. Additionally, at the time of her death, she was under investigation by the FBI for truly UNREAL amounts of credit-card fraud. Apparently, while she worked for the USPS, she was stealing credit cards from people’s mail and running them up.

My mom (daughter of ‘catch me if you can grandma’) stole a car at 15 and ran away to NYC where she met my dad and lied to him about her age. He didn’t find out she was 15—not 22 as she’d told him—until she was four months pregnant with my older brother and brought dad home to meet the family. She was also involved in prostitution and drug running when my brother and I were little. After she and dad split up, she shacked up with a new guy—real charmer. Pedophile, alcoholic. Whom she stayed with three years after she found out he liked to come in my room at night—and stepped into grandma’s shoes running illegal immigrants. These days she’s a ‘respectable nurse’ with a drinking problem who routinely lifts narcotics and other controlled substances from work because ‘they help her sleep.’

Me? I’ve never been in trouble with the law, but I’m bisexual and in a loving polyamorous relationship, so I’m the shame of this fucking family.”


36. My grandfather had four different families at the same time.

“My grandfather had four different families at the same time. Eventually they found about each other and they left him. Except my grandmother, she stayed. He has a total of 22 children.”


37. Everyone knew I was being molested by my grandfather and abused by my grandmother.

“Everyone knew I was being molested by my grandfather and abused by my grandmother. It was OK as long has he didn’t turn his attentions to any other kid and she left everyone alone.”


38. My family tells everyone that I ‘tan easier,’ when the truth is that dad had a fling with a Dominican girl.

“My family goes around telling everyone that I’m darker than my brothers because I ‘tan easier,’ but that’s not the case at all. One night my dad got really drunk and rambled to me about how he slept with a Dominican girl when they were separated and she turned up pregnant. She bled to death during childbirth and that’s how I’m here. Just one more odd thing to add to the list: only girl of five siblings, youngest child, fairly normal name compared to the laughable ones my brothers are stuck with, and half Dominican. Embrace being unique, guys.”


39. My uncle burned my grandmother’s house down.

“In the eighties my grandmother was short on money so my uncle burned one of her rentals down; thankfully the tenant got out in time. My grandmother took the arson hit and my uncle was never sure why until she died and he found out she felt guilty for never telling him he was a love child from an affair.”


40. Hard drugs are the reason I’m alive.

“The only reason I’m alive is that my mom and dad both had a cocaine habit and met at a party where there was cocaine in the late 80’s, they got together and a couple years later I was born. It’s really not that bad because they got sober when my mom found out she was pregnant, there wasn’t any complications with my birth and i have a good relationship with both of ’em. But it’s kinda fucked up to learn in your 20s that hard drugs are the reason you’re alive.”


41. My gay uncle killed himself after being falsely accused of molesting an older man.

“My uncle committed suicide after losing a dispute from which he was wrongly accused of molesting a patient while helping him clean up (my uncle was gay and the patient was a crummy old man). He lost his job due to the accusations and lost in court (I don’t fully know the details of what transpired since the accusation). Then in the early morning of one January 5th, he downed a cup of bleach. Only my immediate family, my father’s remaining siblings, and a few close friends know it was suicide. However, in order to preserve his image to everyone else, those who know the truth hide it by saying he had a heart attack. And everyone believed it because everyone knew he had diabetes.

The incident is still mostly fresh in my mind because I was still up past midnight, which was the time my uncle was at our storage room preparing. As I was about to head to my room, I found the storage door wide open, which was strange considering everyone in the house should have been already asleep. Little did I know I was this close to catching my uncle before it was too late.”


42. When I was 11 or 12, my older cousin jerked it in my face.

“This is my dark secret that happened with a family member I have told no one except one person in which I trust with everything.

I was 11 or 12 and me being a curious young boy I would always ask my cousin about dicks and sizes since I felt I was too small; I’m 11 of course its gonna be small. Anyways one day he tried to pull my pants down while I was standing talking to him, later that day he tried to but while I was on a pull-up bar. It is on the door to my bathroom and that’s the only entrance to my bathroom through my room; he cornered me into my shower and pulled down his pants and jerked it right in my face. I got scared and ran out of my room and sat outside while I had company over. Ever since my cousin has acted a tad bit gay and he has a man-bun. We never look each other in the eyes anymore.”


43. I am my family’s dark secret.

“Me. Only a select few know something and what I’m really like when I’m not pretending.

Several years ago, I was in the newspaper for doing bad things which are a sign of future bad things. A canvassing effort took place to find me. (They didn’t know who was responsible but they were canvassing to find out.) They never did. I moved, not because of the canvassing, and the bad things stopped happening in that neighborhood. Fears grew that the bad things stopped because worse things started. Worse things started, but not by me.

Since then, I’m not exactly owned by my family…” TC mark

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