Most of the time, it’s exciting to find out a secret. But sometimes you learn something that you wish you hadn’t. Maybe, for example, you learn that you were an unplanned pregnancy, or that your beloved relative is a criminal, or that your religious mother loves “adult” novels.
The following stories will have you believing that ignorance really is bliss!
32. Her Love For “Heavenly” Novels
My mom’s love for adult romance novels. We share the same Amazon account so I can see what she’s reading in Kindle. She always says her favorite genre is “Biblical fiction,” but she’ll never say what book she’s reading; she just avoids the question. When we were kids she always read in her room or the book had a fabric cover on it. She always kept it secret. But on her Kindle is only romance books. Almost every single book has a shirtless guy on the front.
And here I was saying my mom was such a spiritual person that read her bible every day. But no! All she’s read for the past 45 years are books about shirtless men and three-ways.
31. “Dad” Failed To Win Her Back
My dad walked out of my life when I was 12. I hated him because I thought he was having an affair. Turns out it was more complicated. He was sterile (he had an accident in his younger years), but my mom didn’t know that. I then found out that mom had an affair with a coworker, who is our biological dad. Dad knew about it, but kept quiet thinking that he could win my mom back somehow.
What’s more heartbreaking for me is that I remembered that he treated me and my younger sister with all the love a child ever deserves from their dad–he’s always so patient and forgiving even if we behave like spoiled brats. He raised us well, knowing full well that we aren’t his children trying to keep the family together. Until one day he couldn’t keep up anymore I suppose.
30. The Aunt With The Chocolate Puppies
The woman who my grandmother used to visit all the time when I lived with her was not her “sister” like she told me, but in fact her girlfriend. Now before anybody tries to give me nonsense things, it’s not the fact that my grandmother was dating a woman that’s the problem (I myself am LGBTQ). It’s the fact that when they broke up when I was really little. My grandma told me she was dead, that she ran straight into the underpass of a bridge in the national park by my hometown. She went as far as to always point out said bridge whenever we drove by it. Me, being very young and having no previous experience with loss, cried for days about losing my “aunty with the fluffy chocolate puppies.” (She had two poodles, one brown, one white. I loved Chocolate so to this day I don’t remember their names because I stubbornly called them Milk and White Chocolate.) It’s the first time I ever remember feeling sad. So imagine my surprise when as an adult I go into a Walmart in my town that I never go to normally because it’s out of my way and the person who helps me find things says she recognizes me. She knew my birthdate, my grandmother, my father, etc. I don’t recognize her AT ALL. She tells me her name and still nothing. She walks away sad and hurt and I call my dad later to ask if we know someone like her.
The conversation went a little something like this: Me: “Do we know a person named X that works at Walmart?” Dad: “Yeah that’s your grandma’s ex-girlfriend. The one you said had chocolate puppies.” Me: “No that was her sister, and she died when I was little.” Dad: “No she’s been working at Walmart since before you were born.” Anticlimactic conversation, right? Well, it leads to the thing I wish I didn’t know: this wasn’t the first lie that my grandmother told throughout my childhood. It is known by everyone in my family that she is a pathological liar, and when I became an adult they finally let me know. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Emotionally manipulation of me as a child to make me quit asking to see my “aunt with the chocolate puppies” after the two broke up? Not even a drop in the bucket to the growing list of lies throughout my life that now make me question what is real and what are lies I’ve been told.
29. Mother Doesn’t Always Know Best
My mom was pregnant when she died and it wasn’t my dad’s. She had plans to leave him (and me and my sister) and take just my little brother with her. Years before, she had gotten this deal from a door to door salesmen for those indestructible tiny safes. The ones that are fine even if your house burns down. She got five of them, enough for everyone in the family to have one.
While she was going through her stuff and seeing what she wanted to keep or not, my younger sister (10 at the time) found a letter she had written and stored in the safe. It was for my dad. It was the letter she was going to leave behind after taking my brother. I didn’t find out until years later when my sister told me. I was very angry.
28. What A Heavy Burden
My dad died when I was in fourth grade. I don’t know if I was explicitly told he was killed or whether I presumed it and told myself he was murdered. Either way, I told myself I would become a detective and figure out who did it.
Cue early high school years: I’m sitting in the car with my mom as she’s driving us home and she tells me my dad ended his own life and told me not to tell my brother because he’s still too young and that she would find the time to tell him. I felt betrayed that day. Later, I found his death certificate just hanging out in the file holders on the computer desk sticking out and I cried that time as I read how he had done it.
My dad wanted a boy, had my older sister, then was having me. He was so mad when he found out I was a girl that my parents’ relationship went from bad to worse, and the abuse went through the roof. Mom ended up with full custody, and I hadn’t seen him since I was 14. However, my mom can be pretty apathetic sometimes. My 21st birthday was a couple of days away and we were going through baby photos for my 21st video and saw a pic of me and my dad in the background. So naturally, I ask a couple of questions and completely unrelated to what I had asked, my mom nonchalantly said, “Oh, yeah Paul (my dad) never wanted you.” I don’t know if anyone else had this happen to them when they knew something deep down but didn’t KNOW, you know? I was upset for a little bit.
But then I remembered I probably act more like a “stereotypical guy” then any son would have. I was constantly called a tomboy growing up, could outrun most of the guys in short distance (despite looking like someone who would be out of breath just walking). I like some sports, I like being active, I like video games, I dislike the color pink, HATE skirts, dresses, and makeup, would love to rock shorter hairstyle (but I don’t think I have the right head shape for it) and am super low maintenance. So he’s the one missing out. Funny story: he married another lady and she had a baby girl too.
26. He Was My Hero Until…
I found out last year that my grandfather wasn’t my biological grandfather (I am 35). He fought in WW2 and did all of these heroic and brave things; I always loved knowing that I shared my genetics with him, except now I know I don’t. Apparently, he met my grandmother and father after the war in Germany (my grandmother is Polish) and he brought them to America. My dad was only 3 at the time.
Everyone in my family apparently kept this from me because they knew how much I looked up to him and sadly both my grandparents are long gone, so I can’t even ask them questions about what really happened. I kind of wish I didn’t know; ignorance is bliss sometimes.
25. Loyalty Is Not Cheap
I wish I never found out that my husband was on Tinder behind my back while we were still together. I already knew that he was talking to one of his friends about another woman and we had separated because of that. While we were already separated I found out about the Tinder thing.
Now I live every day knowing that I’ll probably never have the full truth and I honestly wish I had never found out because of how much anxiety it has caused me.
24. The “Reason” For Their Divorce
My dad informed me when I got back from Iraq that I was the reason he and my mother got a divorce. I never really wanted to join the military anyways, and it screwed me up big time. They had financial troubles and my mom sent me care packages quite a lot.
Apparently, that put them into bankruptcy, and if I hadn’t joined it wouldn’t have happened. I just wanted to get out of that house because it was like I didn’t exist.
23. Baby On A Door Step
I was essentially dumped by my mom on my dad’s doorstep with a letter that basically said: “I’m moving. Take him in or I’ll find someone else to take care of him.” I was around 10 years old at the time and I was given the story: “How would you like to live with your dad for a few years?”
Ten years later he told me about the letter, and it’s one of the only times I saw him break down in tears. He felt so betrayed. He said, “Why the heck would I not take care of my own son? Of course, I would have wanted you to live here. All she had to do was tell me.” I love you, dad.
22. Did We Have The Same Ex?
How many people an ex cheated on me with. When I found out she was cheating, I assumed it was just one guy. An affair. Nope. There were guys at her work, guys she met while out having drinks, guys we used to go to school with. Pretty much whoever gazed in her general direction and made a pass at her.
For some reason, knowing this made it so much worse to deal with at the time. It just felt like “Wow, you literally want to be with any other guy but me.”
21. What A Woman!
I found my girlfriend’s phone in my car one morning after an awesome night of cuddling. It was going off with text messages from a guy, who had been her friend for maybe a year but I had never met. The texts were saying how much he enjoys the nights they’ve spent together and he wants to see her that day.
I would take any physical pain I’ve had so far over that I felt when I saw the things on there. Totally gut-wrenching. I wanted to marry her. I also found out that she was having an affair with a tattoo artist while getting paid by him so he could practice tattoos on her entire nude body. What a woman. I haven’t had a girlfriend in five years.
20. Mom’s Condition
I regret finding out that my mother knew she had cancer a year before she told anyone; or rather, a year before she was “diagnosed” after I literally forced her to see a doctor for her then extremely distended stomach.
I was under the impression that we told each other absolutely everything because up until that point, we did. I found out the truth a month after she died when I’d requested all of her cancer-related paperwork from her oncologist.
19. This Is So Wrong
The real reason why half of my dad’s side of the family doesn’t speak to us. We (my twin and I) were always told it was that they just weren’t that close and also had some mental health issues, but we learned the truth after my dad died because no one on his side of the family came to the funeral; the opted to have their own. It turns out that my parents had trouble conceiving. This I knew. I also know me and my twin are IVF babies and we were born very premature. I’m talking 1-pound-baby premature. Shortly after, my mom developed breast cancer. What I didn’t know was that during this time my dad was also taking care of his sick mother (my paternal grandmother) as well as looking after his sick wife and two newborn premies. He ended up asking his brother to help look after their mother since he’d been the one doing it so he could care for his family more.
Well, soon after my dad spent more time with us over his mom, she took a turn for the worse and died. And my father’s brother blamed him for “abandoning” the family and blamed my twin and I for the death of our grandmother. Because if we weren’t born my mother wouldn’t have gotten estrogen-positive breast cancer and also they were all very Catholic and IVF was a sin. I never met my grandmother. I’m named after her. But apparently an entire side of the family thinks it’s my and my sister’s fault she’s dead.
18. A Not-So-Good Birthday Present
When I was 6 or 7, my mom missed my birthday. I remember crying and my grandma and uncle just kept saying “She’s coming; don’t worry.” She came. Very late at night. They woke me up to tell me she was there and I was so excited but also wondering what kept her. She got me a doll house and told me she was out all day searching for the perfect, best birthday gift for me, and I believed her.
I found out later that she stole the doll house, and had forgotten about my birthday, because she had been laid up in a hotel room, smoking all day. She totally forgot about me.
17. Uncle Jimmy’s “Profession”
My great aunt and uncle were the sweetest people imaginable. When I was growing up, they lived four houses down, so I used to go around to their house a lot after school. My Uncle Jimmy used to play with dollies and have tea parties with me. I have very fond memories of them. When my Uncle Jimmy died I remember all these very professional looking old men at his funeral, surrounded by what looked like to me security guards.
My mom casually mentioned to me many years later that my Uncle Jimmy was an old-fashioned criminal. He did time for robbery, etc. He was also accused of killing four people, but there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. I was gobsmacked. In addition to this, my lovely Auntie Diane, his wife, was the madame at one of his brothels and recruited his slaves. She had also done time. I put two and two together and realized those men at his funeral were his squad. It really messed me up.
16. “It Was A Pretty Terrible Trip”
When I was a senior, my mom convinced me that it was a better idea to let her take my senior pictures than to have my photographer uncle do them. I caved and said fine, but I still wanted them done in Oregon. This caused her to get upset again and freak out on me for wanting them done outside of Las Vegas (we only lived there for three years, but I was expected to treat it like home and not miss our old home). Eventually, she calmed down and offered to take me to San Diego to do them on the beach, and as an added bonus, we would stay with some friends. I had known the family we stayed with since I was 10. My brother met the son, S, in 3rd grade and they became best friends. I became friends with his sister, E, and eventually, our whole families were friends. We’d all visit no matter where we moved. My parents eventually divorced and my mom had a boyfriend of four years when we left for San Diego for my senior pictures. We get to S and E’s dad’s house (their parents split up too) and my mom and their dad were catching up as were E and I. The day was great, we had some drinks, played some pool, and then we all went to bed.
Around two hours later, I woke up to the sound of my mom sleeping with E’s dad, a man I’d looked to as a father figure when my dad was having a rough time. I was so mad I pounded on the door and told her to get her butt to the patio. We had a long talk about how she shouldn’t have cheated on her boyfriend, and how she didn’t regret it, and how I thought she was crazy and she should talk to him about it. My mom is still with her boyfriend. They’re engaged now. I’m not sure if she ever told him, but having to talk to him and see him and know this awful secret is so hard. Side note: it wasn’t worth the trip because my mom lost all my senior pictures except maybe seven of them. And the ones we have are bad. It was a pretty terrible trip.
15. It’s Too Late
My mother struggled for a long time with alcoholism and depression. When I was about 20, my parents got divorced. I was away at college and didn’t see much of what was going on with her or how she was feeling. When I was 27 she was diagnosed with a rare form of endometrial cancer. She passed away about a year later after too much pain and suffering.
When we were clearing out her house I found a paper bag filled with journals. I learned that she had been seeing a therapist for a few years. I read through several of the journals, rightfully or wrongfully so. I’ll always regret learning what I did. The level of her unhappiness, her fear that she thought her children didn’t love her. The sadness she faced every day. I cry whenever I think about reading those because I could’ve called more. I could’ve visited more. Shared more. Loved more. And now she’s gone and I can only hope she passed knowing how loved she was.
14. The Big Sausage
Oh god. My mom told me what my dad named his shlong while they were going through a divorce. It was one of those offhanded digs that some people make in a moment of anger. “You want to know something stupid? Your dad named his shlong Big Sausage. Can you believe that? He wasn’t even that big.”
Thanks, Mom. That’s the absolute last thing on Earth I ever wanted to know and even though I love you, we are not the kind of friends who can gossip about those kinds of things, for god’s sake. It’s been over a decade and I’m still mad.
13. The Player
My dad died when I was 12 and my mom remarried when I was 15 to an Italian businessman. I really liked him and he was a really interesting man and loved my mom. He spoke five languages and traveled for work a lot. He used to tell us stories about when he was younger in Italy and told us that he played soccer for the Italian national team and was in two World Cups. It was a long time ago and info from that time was hard to get so we all believed him.
One Christmas about ten years ago I found videos online of the games he said he was in. I was so excited and bought them … only to watch them and find out he had always lied to us. He never played. I decided to just keep it as my secret as to not ruin his relationship with my mom and siblings because I think they would question many other things about his life. He is a good man and I love him but this always makes me wonder what else he lied about.
12. ‘Til Death Did They Part
My grandfather’s uncle fell in love with an underage girl. He got drafted into the war and had to leave. When he came home, he found out she had died. He dug up her grave and kept her dead body in his bathtub. We just don’t talk about it and I’ve never met that side of my family. He was a Marine in the Korean War.
Apparently, when he got back, he was told she had died (my mom has no idea how old she was or what she died of). He became so distraught he went and dug up her grave, put her in his bathtub, and kept trying to revive her. He was discovered only a couple of days later. My mom says it was a small town and once her freshly dug up grave was discovered, they just put two and two together. No one talks about it.
11. The Worst Kind Of Third Wheel
Someone close to me cheated on their partner, and I’m the only person that knows. They were a close friend that I had a bit of a crush on at the time too. For various reasons, I was willing to support them through whatever; they’d really helped me out a few times previously.
I noticed they were quiet for a while so I asked what was up, and they told me. I supported them through it. I got them to talk about why they did it, what’s been going on, and the emotions associated. But I can’t look at them in quite the same light anymore.
10. Living Different Lives
My mom has been cheating on my father for at least the last 20 years. I’m 21. Also, she’s been leading more than 10 different lives on Facebook … how she’s a working single mom making it big—she used one of the neighbor kids my sister babysat for one of them, passed the poor baby off as hers … sick witch. She never had a job, she’s been a stay-at-home wife/mother for a little over 25 years. My father has a good (like six-figure good) job after working for peanuts for most of my life and he gave my mother everything she ever wanted—three weddings, two trips to Vegas, four “mommy daddy” vacations without their five kids, a country clubhouse, expensive cars, everything, and it still wasn’t enough. She tried to pin her other lives and infidelity on my brother dying two years ago, but this was going on way before his accident …
I tried to stay out of it for my own sake, but the real kicker was finding out she wanted to stop her pregnancy when she was pregnant with my little sister and my youngest brother because she didn’t think they were my dad’s. I could handle the cheating and the stealing, but the fact that she would blatantly say that she didn’t want two of her children after almost two years of saying how she would die for us and playing the grieving mother, it’s just sick. I wish I’d never heard that part; maybe I could’ve rebuilt a relationship with her or forgiven her. Not now.
9. The Reason They Got Married
I wish I never found out that my dad never loved my mom, even when they married. What clinched it was that my mom confided in me that I was in fact an accident, and they pretty much got married because of me.
Now I know for a fact that both my parents love me despite being unplanned. But knowing I was the cause of a loveless marriage that lasted 14 years is still painful to know.
8. Mom’s Vice
This is gonna sound dumb and it definitely pales in comparison to everyone else’s, but honestly, I wish I never found out my mom smokes cigarettes.
I found out when I was just a kid and I’ve been keeping it a secret from my other siblings since. It sucks and I’m gonna sound like a jerk saying this, but I definitely saw her differently for a long time.
7. Not Planned
Several years ago, my sister and I found out that my mother was pregnant a good four months before she and Dad told us, because we had been snooping around on the Amazon account trying to figure out what they got us for Christmas. She had ordered a pregnancy test a week after their anniversary, and then pregnancy books a week after that. I was 16, my sister was 14, and they tried to claim it was planned.
I gave my doubts about that fact for a while, until my dad finally said: “Well it’s not exactly like the two of you were entirely intentional either.” Now I love my parents, and they love us too, but knowing none of us were planned shook me a bit.
6. Grandfather’s Affairs
That my grandfather had an affair quite a few years ago and a kid was born of it. So I have an aunt or uncle out there I’ll never know because no one in my family will acknowledge the fact that one, the affair happened in the first place, and two, that my gramps has a random kid out there.
Not even sure how old this person is now. I remember hearing about this happening several years ago, so his son or daughter could be in their teens or heading into the twenties now. To put that in perspective, I’m 26. Really really did not need to know at a young age I stumbled into that gossipy conversation I later found out was true.
5. The Dictator
I wish I had never heard my mother drunkenly dictate my father’s last moments on this Earth over and over to me ever since I can remember. He died of an overdose with a needle in his arm in 1982. They didn’t know my mom was pregnant. She was around six weeks pregnant with me when it happened. He was 19.
I tell myself to not be mad at her about it, the drunken reliving, because she’s been through hell. But it has been too much at times.
4. She Didn’t Want A Second Child
My dad told me when I was about 24–at some random dinner out of nowhere–that my mom never wanted a second child (me) and that the stress of having a second child is what drove her to leave when I was 3.
He “made her” (not forced obviously) have a second child because he didn’t want an only child situation for my older brother. He said it so nonchalantly as if it were no big deal whatsoever. Kind of messed me up for a bit.
3. Was It A Forced Marriage?
That my sister was conceived months before my parents got married (by counting back 9 months) when I found their marriage certificate. They never really celebrate their wedding and all they had was a ceremony in the city hall so we’ve never paid attention to it.
Now I wonder if they did that because mom was already pregnant and their families would’ve pushed them to get married anyway when my mom had gotten pregnant.
2. Too Young To Hear Those Things
My mom was too open with me and I wish she had waited to tell me about all the terrible things that happened to her. I knew what assault was before I really knew what sex was, and for a long time, I was terrified of men because of all the stories about my dad (although I appreciate her being honest about him) and the men that treated her badly.
I love my mother though. She’s my best friend and I love that she is honest with me, I just wish she’d put a lid on it until I was at least in the double digits.
1. The Chocolate Meat
When I was a kid, there was a dish called Dinuguan. It’s a pork chunk in a dark sauce. I called it chocolate meat. I LOVED it. It was at every party and I would fill my plate with it and chow down. Somewhere around 11 years old, I found out what the ingredients were.
Turns out the pork chunks are made up of the less appetizing parts of the pig: ears, snout, stomach, other entrails, and the stew is made of the pig’s blood. I haven’t touched it since. My folks still make fun of me for it.