Keeping secrets isn't anything new. For example, you've likely withheld countless personal details from your family. You'd expect them to understand and support you no matter what, but some family members just cause you to shut down. While our own parents have likely been through the same trials and tribulations when they were younger, you might still feel discouraged to spill the beans out of fear that they will react to you hypocritically.
Luckily, these people managed to hide some pretty deep secrets from their loved ones. From relationship issues to hidden wealth, nothing is off-limits here. If they decide to share them one day, they can expect some feelings of anger from people in their family. The most important thing is knowing they'll be forgiven for their actions. If not, they'll know who's truly there for them when it's all said and done.
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1. The Lion Of God
For context, my dad is the second youngest of 15 children. My oldest aunt has a son who is around the same age as my dad, we'll call him Vince. Vince and my dad knew each other growing up, and always got along. Vince was even one of my dad's groomsmen. A few years after that, Vince became very openly religious, and would try to get family members to go to church with him.
Except then my family started to notice that Vince would change which church he would go to after about a month. Fast forward to when I was a kid. There was a family get-together, and Vince and his girlfriend show up. It takes a dark turn. They start making people uncomfortable with their religious talk. Not the normal day-to-day stuff, but actually telling people they are going to heck for drinking.
They were also telling people that Vince is becoming a preacher and they need to attend his services, or else damnation, etc. According to my mom, I was really sick at this time and she took me to another room to give me some peace and quiet and hopefully I would stop fussing. She overheard Vince and the girlfriend in the next room talking about who they can single out and who would go along with them.
My mom freaked when she heard my dad's name, and Vince saying that he would be easy to convince, and his job should be able to fund things. My mom immediately went and got my dad and told him what she heard. Dad confronts Vince, and a huge argument ensues. Vince ends up leaving and saying everyone is damned, they are Satan, etc.
The rest of the family then talked about what happened, and it all came clear. He was not a good guy. His sister had kicked him out because he was mooching off her, refused to get a job, and she found him taking money from her purse. My aunt had to do the same for the same reasons. The same story over and over. Basically, they realized Vince was just a con artist trying to live off others.
Fast forward to the late 1980s, and not many people have heard from Vince recently. There is a huge family get-together again, and two aunts and a few cousins refused to attend because Vince was not welcome at the party. They were saying that Vince was the "Lion of God" and we were wrong to reject him. Another fight ensues, and the two aunts and handful of cousins don't end up attending.
Fast forward to the mid-90s when my grandma passed. One of the two aunts comes to the funeral (the other had passed a few years earlier), with Vince in tow. Vince was warned that he could come pay his respects, but to behave himself. My aunt was timid and repressed near him, and was open and nice when he wasn't around. It was really weird.
My parents didn't want to talk about it. Later that night, I did some internet searches and found out the chilling truth. Apparently, Vince was now the leader of a religious cult. He sucked in my two aunts, about seven of my cousins, and about 30-40 various people through the years. All the same M.O.: They must give up their money and belongings to join and "serve God."
He especially preyed on immigrants who came over by themselves. Basically, he bought some farmland, his disciples work the land, he sells what they grow/make, and he keeps the money. He is still active to this day, and many people who have left him have their own websites against him. It’s honestly head-spinning thinking about this guy.
#2 Happier Away From Home
They don't know that when I'm away from them, I am way happier and much more pleasant to be around. I don't just sit on my rear-end all day; I want to do important things and actually understand the world. They don't know I want to write, and they don't know what I want to do in college They don't know I definitely intend to keep my life away from theirs the moment I am able.
I'm 18 and I just recently graduated from high school. I don't have a job and I don't have a car. I don't have my own room, and I can never leave the apartment without being asked questions. Overall, it feels like being caught in a net in which any move I try to make just causes it to get more tangled up. It's easier to just hold on to the few things they don't ask about, but I know I can be better. I can be way more productive, fun, maybe a bit handsome if I just removed my life entirely from their grasp.
#3 No Beliefs Here
I'm an atheist. My whole family is conservative Christian and I know they'd probably disown me if I told them. They don't live with me, but every time they visit, they want me to go to church with them and I reluctantly go even though I don't want to. I hate putting up this charade and living this fake life but my father talks smack about atheists all the time and he would probably be crushed to know his daughter is one.
I actually have told my mom and she's the only one in my family who knows. She didn't tell anyone, and while she is very disappointed in me, she just refuses to talk about religion with me at all. She thinks that I made a horrible choice. My father is a much more devout Christian than she is and I can only imagine how he would feel. He would probably never want to see me again if I told him.
#4 Never Stop Loving Them
I love them and I care what they think. I don’t show it that often, but I do. I just don’t find myself capable of showing affection. Maybe I’m weird or messed up or something, but when my little sisters try to hug me, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It may be because they are my dad’s favorites out of the five of us (we're a family of three boys and two girls).
Even now, sometimes I’ll try to strike up some small talk and he’ll completely ignore me. I feel like I’m not a good enough son. What’s worse is I can remember overhearing him before talking about how he wanted a daughter as his first kid instead of a boy, and it made me feel weird and uncomfortable, as if I wasn’t meant to be. Instead of paying much mind to it, I bury it under an “I don’t care” attitude. It got to the point where for a few months, I’d cry myself to sleep wondering why I had this cruel existence thrust upon me and why I wasn’t loved. My friends think I’m always happy-go-lucky because I crack jokes, but it’s all a facade. A persona. In reality, I feel as though all relationships in my life are pointless because I may never live up to what the other person expects from me.
#5 Like And Subscribe
Well, I have a YouTube channel with over 1,000 subscribers, on which I mainly make YTPs. I don't plan on telling any family member since they all have a different sense of humor and I think they'd be more confused than anything else... Especially my mother since she doesn't understand English. All they know is that I like to make "clips," but they aren't aware of it and they aren't pushing it. It's probably the easiest secret you can keep, but I was thinking, should I reveal it someday? I'm thinking to only reveal it if I'm making money off it, or if I have a ridiculous amount of subs. But not now.
#6 Hold The Wheel And Drive
I had to travel about 20 miles each way to get to high school on a very busy highway in California. Since I had done that drive so many times, I basically had the route memorized. I used to go to school early for track workouts and one day when I was super sleepy. I basically blinked and was two miles further down the highway in the same lane. My mom would have had a heart attack if she ever found out.
#7 We're In The Money
How much I make. I make more than anyone in my family, my wife's family, and all of my friends. I'm a software engineer and job-hopped a few times, raising my income nearly 100% in six years. I didn't tell anyone in my family what degree I have (engineering), where I got my jobs, when I switched jobs, nothing. I don't tell anyone anything. The reason being is, back several years ago, we were at a family party and my brother and I felt shunned.
No one was talking to us. We are pretty normal dudes, so it was very weird that we were so ignored. We came to find out, people were talking behind our backs, saying we acted like we were better than everyone else because we graduated college. From that point on, we never spoke a word about graduating to anyone in the family. It's just really frustrating to have people talk behind your back about stuff that isn't even happening.
#8 The Farther The Distance
I have been in a long-distance relationship for about a year now. Eventually, they'll find out because I am definitely going to visit them, but I haven't figured out the best way to tell my family. We met online and my family is very skeptical about social media, but I've figured that if this person had an ulterior motive, then they wouldn't have put up with my nonsense for this long.
#9 Pay To Win
A couple of years ago, when Clash Royale was really big at school, I spent $500 of my parents' money (their credit card was connected to my phone). My dad called me to ask me about it, and I denied it. They were away on a trip to Las Vegas or some other place and my mom lost her credit card there. The person who found it spent money, so it was the perfect cover. I have no idea why I bought so many gems in that game because I would have definitely gotten caught. I really do feel guilty but since they thought it was a different person, my parents managed to get out of paying.
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#10 Stash That Cash
So, my parents are going through a really tough financial situation. I’m trying to help and do what I can, though it can be a struggle at times. My dad spends money on stupid stuff and then never takes responsibility. What don’t they know? My benefits have been accepted and I’ll be able to recover the previous years as well! Great news, right? Well, I won’t be telling my parents because my dad for sure will want the money or force me to spend on it stupid stuff. It’s not a huge sum of cash but as a college student, it sure does look like it to me.
#11 Fake It 'Til You Make It
I faked a job offer so I can move to another city that is 3,000 miles from my family. I still want to maintain a relationship with my family regardless of how controlling and autocratic they are, I just want to do it from a distance. I got an actual interview but I was not chosen for the job. Instead of telling them that, I made fake contracts and offer letter to show them.
Since the documents are in English and my parents can't understand, they just ask me questions, so lying is much easier. I just pack my suitcase, live off coach surfing, work at temp jobs for money and food for a while. At first, it was hard, very tiring and financially unstable, but now I have a job, peace and much more confidence in voicing my opinions and feelings. I am also slowly mending my relationship with my parents. Soon.
#12 A Taste Of Ink
I have a huge tattoo on my forearm that I've had for the last 10 years. I'm currently getting it removed with laser but I've been using long sleeves whenever I get together with the family. My family is extremely conservative and it's freaking annoying in the summer.
#13 Wrong Career Choice
My family doesn't know much debt I'm in. My mom probably has an idea, but student loans aren't a joke. I'm going to school for Cyber Forensics and will be graduating this year, however, I've only recently realized that, while I am good at networking and technology, it does not make me happy whatsoever. In fact, it makes me absolutely miserable.
I'm an expert in IT, networking and security, however, I hate doing it. I've realized recently that acting is what makes me happy and I want to pursue that, despite being in deep student debt. Back when I was in high school, I did several acting jobs for movies and commercials, and this summer, I have gotten back into it. I recently just did a background acting job for an upcoming Netflix series releasing next year, and it's made me realize THAT is what makes me happy: acting.
You do something new every single day, you meet new people and make new connections and you get to be a part of something amazing. I can see myself making a living off of acting. My family doesn't know that my major and job experience actually makes me miserable, and something as stupid as acting (even if it's just background acting and acting in student films) makes me happy. I regret not going to school for film.
Once I am graduated, I am going to keep pursuing acting jobs and see where it lands me. My mom thinks that after I graduate that I plan on going for my masters in this field, but I know that it'll only give me more debt for something I have absolutely no interest in anymore. I don't know how to tell her that I decided not to go for my masters.
#14 Lights, Camera, Action
I've been writing pilots for TV shows. They are all spec scripts so far, but I'm hoping that one day I can get at least one of them developed. Some of my friends know, but I haven't told my family. I don't want them to get overly excited over nothing since I haven't sold one yet. It's been fun though; I've never done this type of writing before, so I've enjoyed learning and developing in this style.
#15 Tear In The Family
The divorce I'm going through is a lot harder on me than I'm letting on. I wanted the divorce—no one in my family liked my ex and they are happy I am getting away. But the divorce has been going on for two years now and it is really taking its toll on me. In the first year, things were fine and my family saw that I was a lot happier. But now, it is going onto a second year because my ex is refusing to cooperate. She's really trying to manipulate the system.
I am at risk at losing time with my kids, losing half my life savings, and having to pay 50% of my paycheck in child support for the next 15 years. Note: my ex makes more than me, which is the most frustrating part. She has no problem supporting herself. She talks smack about me to my kids, but I am trying to take the high road and ignore it. It is depressing that I have to deal with her for 15+ years.
My mom has had some health issues and can't travel. My dad was supposed to come out for Father's Day but changed his plans. Because my daughter had a recital on Father's Day, I had to spend time with my ex's family that day. I live close to my brother, but he makes no effort to plan events with my kids. We were even supposed to have a joint birthday party for our kids because they are a couple of weeks apart, and he straight up forgot. He promised to "make up for it," but has not reached out since.
#16 Keeping Their Sister In Mind
I made Dean’s List for my last semester in college. I’m super proud of it, but I found out when we were celebrating my little sister’s graduation and I didn’t want to take it away from her. I also didn’t want to feel like I was rubbing it in my twin’s face. She apparently feels threatened that I graduated a year early, even though she’s always been much more academically successful than me.
#17 Throw Up Those Horns
I'm a huge metalhead. Considering my childhood, I don't think my parents would ever allow it. They raised me in the church and taught me piano. Then I went to college and started getting into some heavy music. Lately been listening to Frontierer, it's practically screaming and guitar noise. I'm not sure if it's even music but it fires me up!
#18 Get A Hobby, Dude
I'm the first family member to graduate high school with very high grades. I went to medical school, became a doctor at around 21 and even went to Australia for two years for my Healthcare Management masters. My family, relatives, and friends only see how successful I've been and they are always expecting higher achievements. It's exhausting to be that ideal person in the family that everyone's looking up to. The thing is, I never even wanted to be a doctor and not sure if I'm even good at any of it. I want to try a lot of hobbies I never did, such as learn a musical instrument and photography.
#19 Not A Fan Of Gatherings
They don't know that all the times I was "forced" to work double shifts on Christmas Eve I actually volunteered because the thought of being surrounded by my family repulsed me. My parents are fine, but I loathe my extended family. Pretending to like or care about them is too much work. I worked at a restaurant in college and I would volunteer to work a double on Christmas Eve so everyone else could go spend time with their family. Sitting alone reading was a far better alternative. I would have done the same thing Christmas Day if we were open.
#20 Nothing Wrong With Therapy
I see a therapist about every other week, and I don't really plan on telling my family. Towards the end of college, I was in a unhealthy relationship, and I started seeing a counselor because of self-deprecating behavior. One of the things that came up in one of the sessions was this feeling that I had unresolved issues with my mom, and I ended up having a conversation with her afterward about it. Big mistake.
She interpreted it as, "The therapist said I was a bad mother," and she told me, "You don't need therapy, there's nothing wrong with you." I know she means well, but I've come to learn that we have a major disconnect in handling and understanding our emotional identities. Unfortunately, she's not super receptive to alternate viewpoints. Now that I'm out of college and can seek a therapist in the "real world," I'm not in a rush to tell her that I'm back in therapy. Ultimately I'll probably tell her, but not until it makes sense for me to do so.
#21 Panic At The Household
I'm agoraphobic and have been living with untreated panic for as long as I can remember. I live 1,200 miles away from my closest family member, so we Skype anyway, but outside of picking up groceries and stopping by the corner quick mart, I'm homebound. I found out yesterday that my insurance has a telehealth system for mostly free and if I choose, I can start addressing my issues once and for all. I'm nervously hovering over the 'reserve appointment' button, but if it means one day I can wake up and perhaps forget I'm an anxious mess for a spell, it'd be well worth it.
#22 That Escalated Quickly
Seven-year-old me faked a stomach ache to stay home from school and play video games. The lie escalated and ended in me getting my appendix taken out the same day. I was too scared to abort the mission and tell my parents I was lying. The doctor said it was a false alarm, but also that it was "better out than in." There was no such thing as keyhole surgery at the time... I was in the hospital for two weeks. No school for two weeks. No video games for two weeks.
#23 Conflict At Home
I have been back from Afghanistan for almost a year now and my family doesn't know. I have no interest in telling them, but we live in a relatively small army town and I actually have to dodge them in stores. I was once waiting for an order at McDonald's when I saw a man that could have been my father enter the store. I said "could have" because I did not stick around to verify. I just left out the other door. Didn't even get my food.
#24 Furry Friends Forever
I'm really sad that I left my cats and dog behind with my parents after I got married. I miss them so much. I cry a lot because of it, but I don't let my husband see or let my parents know. My husband is allergic to anything with fur, so I can't have any furry friends. Plus, I just had a baby girl, so I can't have any other pets. Even though I'm with my daughter 24/7 (I'm a stay at home mom), I really miss their company.
#25 Riding Off Into The Sunset
I make substantially more money than all of them. Also, my husband is not financially supporting me in the way I have let them believe. When they asked how I was able to get my new car and I told them my husband helped me, I technically wasn't lying... I mean, he did drive me to the dealership to pick it up.
#26 Born To Be Wild
I had a motorcycle for a summer when I was in college. This was about four or five years ago. My mom still doesn't know, she just thought I rode around with my guy friend and that's why I got my license (in case something happened and I needed to move it or take it somewhere in an emergency).
#27 Always Nice To Have Extras
I have thousands of dollars worth of keyboards and mice. I never told them because it's just silly to them. I really like the process of customizing and finding the perfect input device for me. Also, I'm a programmer and gamer so I spend a LOT of time on the computer. Yes, I'm weird, but aren't we all?
#28 Do It For The Kids
The most memorable is that whenever I went out to "hang out with friends," I actually went to help any troubled kids. I grew up with lots of problems and I always feel the need to give a hand whether they are a neighbor, stranger, or classmate.
#29 I Am The Law
I'm applying to law school and only my sister knows. My parents think I'd make a horrible lawyer. I just want to do what makes me happy. She's helping me pay for my admissions test and application for schools fees. It's going to be a hit out when my parents find out.
#30 Resetting Their Life
My family has no clue why I’ve gone AWOL. I’m deaf and the only one in the family. I’ve spent my entire life being ostracized and left out of thousands of family dinners, group gatherings, group conversations, etc. I’ve been put down so many times and humiliated by my family because I made an outcrying effort to fit in every chance I could, only to be ignored.
One day, I had a siblings reunion four years after I moved out of our parents' house, which I was thrilled about beforehand. Little did I know I would end up spending the entire six hours looking at them back and forth, not knowing what the heck they were saying. They knew very well I cannot read lips so it was a huge insult to invite me only to put me through all that pain I thought I left behind in our old brutal childhood.
I moved out of state to start over. I changed my name as well. I even had my distant relatives, who live in the same state, who tried to reach me with no avail. My siblings have no idea why they’ve not heard from me for a year. My parents aren’t much less horrible than my siblings since they were the ones responsible for putting me in the wrong environment growing up. It’s freeing to be away from all that. But it left a big hole in me that I don’t know if will ever heal.
#31 Programming Your Own Future
I'm 19 and I'm a programmer for Nordeus (a company that develops games). I never told my family I knew how to write code, or that I'm a 3D artist. When I was 14, I got my first PC, started learning C# and how to work in Photoshop and Blender3D. They thought I was playing games. The reason why I didn't tell them is that when I was 15, my dad told me that he regretted buying me a PC, saying that I did nothing in life but sit in front of a monitor most of the day.
I guess that marked me, so now I'm working with him during the day, and overnight I do my daily tasks for Nordeus. I want to prove to them that I'm not useless. Even though I don't like working with my dad, I do it out of love... I even declined my university to stay here. I'm afraid of their reaction to my life—it is a big secret, but I love that no one calls me to fix their Wi-Fi router. I love anonymity. I guess when it's time for them to know, they'll know.
#32 Putting That Degree To Good Use
The reason I went to college to earn a Psychology degree was not for a job. I did it to figure out why the heck my parents were so screwed up and used their children as emotional dumps for their problems. So far, all I see is that if this apartment comes through, I'm never speaking to any of them again.
#33 The Bitcoin Craze
I invested a crazy amount into bitcoin when it was in the low hundreds. I sold it all when it hit $16,000 the first time around. It’s weird because I told them when I originally invested and they shrugged it off, then when it hit $20,000, they were all excited and talking about investing like it was a new thing. Now they talk to me about getting a job and stuff and how I won’t be able to live how I want if I don’t have money. Little do they know, I’ve got a fat PayPal. I don’t get how they think everything I own was bought with their money.
#34 Can't Get Enough Of Those Snow Leopards
My wife and I are obsessed with snow leopards. We visit the zoo just to see the three snow leopards several times a year and browse snow leopard pics and videos on the net all the time. Furthermore, we have six stuffed snow leopards at home that we talk to and play with every night. We pose them in various positions of mischief each day for the other to find and it's literally one of the best parts of our day. They are as alive and real and adorable to us as actual pets, and both my wife and I might be losing our minds... but at least we are losing them together.
#35 Five Years Spent
I got catfished. In my defense, the catfisher did a lot of work to make themselves seem very legit. Most catfishers don't do a lot to legitimize their persona or give a ton of red flags. The catfisher was very convincingly pretending to be a relatively well-known Czech adult model. I got suckered into this con for about five years. Eventually, a trusted source informed me that I was being duped. I didn't lose any more money, just a lot of time. Also, as a result, I learned a bit of Czech. I'm not going to tell my family because then I have to tell them how I got fooled and completely humiliate myself.
#36 Turning That 'F' Into An 'A'
My mother doesn’t know (and probably never will until she’s much older) that I forged her signature on both mine and my sister's progress/report cards. Not because we were failing, but just because anything lower than a “B” was substandard and “not good enough for her."
#37 What Lottery Ticket?
Back in 2013, I won $50,000 on a scratchers ticket. Not a huge amount of money (I mean let’s face it, $50,000 won’t even buy you a house now) but I kept it a secret because my family is full of vultures. Half of my family is in Mexico and maybe six of them are successful in life, with two of my uncles being millionaires. The other ones always come crawling when they need cash, and it’s not that I don’t want to help them, I just hate how they expect everyone else to take care of them. One of my uncles told us, “ There are seven of you guys in America if you guys send me $100 each a week, that’s $700 a week I can have for my bills” We just told him to screw off.
#38 A Financial Wreck
I'm in a decent amount of both credit card debt and student loan debt. I never could tell them that I lost my scholarship partway through school and had to resort to loans to finish. They think I'm completely debt-free and that I'm not almost drowning every week.
#39 Shutting Out Mom
My mom always punished me for getting in arguments with my sister when we were little, so I completely just stopped talking to her. My mom thinks we are "friends" whereas I can count the number of ACTUAL conversations I have had with her in the past almost seven years on one hand.
#40 Not A Good Match
When I was 10 years old, I used to secretly play with matches. I would stupidly light my mother's fake flowers on fire because they had long stems. One day, as I was lighting the stem, it burned faster than expected and fell into the base (which I couldn't get into without turning it over due to its height). That caught the rest of the flowers on fire and because they were fake they went up in a flash.
Now there was a small roaring fire burning in the corner and in haste, I put it out with every liquid in the refrigerator (except water). Milk, orange juice, juicy juice. Now the wall was destroyed and I cried, thinking about my impending funeral. I decided to play it dumb and told my parents I had no idea how it happened. Thinking that would be it, my parents proceeded to call the fire department. Now I'm like oh no, not only are my parents going to skin me for lighting the fire and lying they are going to cremate my deceased body for bringing in the fire department.
I went into my room with a virtual heart attack waiting for the inevitable. The fireman came in and noticed there was a crack in our thermostat on the wall behind the base with the flowers. His diagnosis was a spark from the thermostat probably created the fire and warned my mom not to have flowers there. I was saved and to this day they don't know I started it. I am 47 now and to this day, I don't mess with matches of any type.
#41 Viva Las Vegas
Back when I was 24, I took about $300 in cash with me on a trip to Vegas with my grandma. She is well off and didn't want to go alone. She has a timeshare with a company that lets her pick and choose where she would like to go for three weeks each year. Her friend backed out due to illness, so she decided to invite me. We have a wonderful relationship but when it comes to money, we don't really discuss it. Way too long of a story.
One night, I told her I was going to wander The Strip alone. She's fine with this as I come off a bit intimidating. I ended up at the Luxor playing Texas Hold Em'. I went from $250 to $30,000 in about four hours of play across four different tables. I invested that money in the stock market and if I cashed out said stocks right now, I would have about $2.4 million. No one in my family has a clue. I live extremely humble. For some reason, I feel like they would all come at me for loans and such. I just don't want to deal with that.
#42 Learning From Their Parents' Mistakes
My parents don't know that I voluntarily work 96 hour weeks making more per hour than either of them ever has. If my savings and funds work out as they should, I’ll have a million saved up in two more years. They think I’m borderline impoverished and struggle to hold two part-time jobs. They’re good people, but they are terrible with money. Of course, I would help them in an emergency, but if I let slip that I make good money, I’ll never hear the end of how I’m so ungrateful and how I owe them.
#43 Celebrating Without Family
I was academically disqualified from college with four classes left. I managed to get back in the last semester leading into graduation. I walked the stage and will be receiving my diploma in a couple of weeks. No one in my family knows and I plan on keeping it that way.
#44 Leaving It Behind
I quit my job months ago. No one in my family knows, they live in a different state and rarely ask me about work and when they do, I change the subject or say something vague. I know they wouldn’t understand and would think I’m blowing my potential. In reality, I’m saving myself from the absolutely crippling and soul-crushing anxiety I’ve had at my job for years.
#45 Let The Music Take Over
I have a fairly successful SoundCloud and YouTube cover channel with a few thousand followers. My parents always discouraged me going into music and I've never mentioned anything to them. I learned some music production over summer and set up a makeshift studio in the corner of my room. My family and friends have complimented my voice before, but nothing major and I really just started because my parents said I couldn't make it on my own.