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12+ People Share Family Secrets That Made Them View Their Relatives Differently

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Have you ever heard a dark family secret that made you look at your loved ones in a whole new light?

These people certainly did, and they shared their stories on AskReddit.

1. What a story

“My mother’s sister got kicked out of the house when she was 14 because she was stealing from her parents. When you’re poor and one of seven children… yeah, you don’t do that.

Anyway, she soon gets pregnant and has the baby at 15. Gives it up for adoption. That’s not the family secret, though.

She finds and marries a guy in his forties when she’s 18, and the guy has several children, the oldest of whom are around her age. She stays with this man for over 20 years, and has a few kids with him.

Then one day, she decides to run away with his daughter. My aunt and her stepdaughter (who is her age!) have been together now since I was a very small child.”

2. Black uncle

“Turns out I have a black uncle. Didn’t find out until my grandmother told my aunt in a semi-lucid moment while she was bedridden.

No, it’s not what you think. When my father was a kid, his family employed a black housekeeper/maid/whatever-you-call it who was around 16 or 17. My dad recalls that sometimes she’d bring her little brother to come by and play with my Dad and his siblings. Then something happened – apparently things were bad at home, or maybe the parents got in a car wreck – I think it was more the former, but I don’t recall. Anyway, while the daughter was old enough to become emancipated, she wasn’t going to be allowed to take custody of her younger brother and he was going to be put into foster care.

So my grandfather called his lawyer friend, and very quietly adopted the boy so that he could continue living with his sister. Keep in mind my grandfather was a doctor, and this was a small town in the rural south during the 1950’s/1960’s. It likely would have been somewhat-to-significantly damaging to his reputation had this been made public – hence the secrecy.

Anyway, never met the guy, family hardly knows anything about him, though I know he has a family and is doing alright. So yeah, I have a black uncle. And my grandmother missed taking that secret to her grave by just a few months.”

3. What a way to go

“My uncle died suddenly of a heart attack. At a strip club. After a private dance. And the stripper was a nursing student who performed CPR on him for a while until paramedics arrived.”

4. Whole thing is crazy

“Me, in a way. or who my dad was, depending on how you look at it. The details would take a pretty long while to type out, but essentially, my mom hid me from my dad and told me my entire life that he was dead before I was born(to prevent me looking into it.). She made up a random guy, provided pictures of him, (but never of my mom with him) gave a story on how he died and I spent 20 years never thinking to question it. Apparently my dad and my grandmother would find ways to try and contact me, but my mom and my grandma on mom’s side would shut it down and threaten them if they did. Whole thing is crazy.

At 20 my dad found me on Facebook and told me the whole story, providing pictures of the two of us together when I was barely a toddler, as well as pictures of him with my mom. Apparently they had a falling out and my mom wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. My dad and I are very cool now, the whole story is absolutely heartbreaking, especially for my dad’s mom. She wanted to get to know me so desperately, and only did in the last two years she was alive. My dad and I text once a week, and it’s pretty grand when it happens.”

5. Multiple choice

“Take your pick:

grandpa tried to kill my dad
grandma gave birth to my dad when she was 12
my cousin is a adult film “star” “

6. Forbidden love

“My French grandmother was in love with a German soldier when she was a teenager in occupied France. He died at the front, but I found some old love letters he wrote her when we cleaned her apartment after she recently passed away.”

7. Adopted

“My uncle is older than my mom, and when they were kids he would tease her incessantly that she was adopted. She was pretty scarred by that (and other older brother terrorist antics…).

I don’t know the details, but he was registering for something when he was around 60 years old and needed his birth certificate (and either lost his or never had one). He went to the local courthouse where he found out he was adopted. His adoptive parents (my mom’s parents) were both dead by then so he couldn’t ask them all the questions he had.”

8. Bootlegger

“Great grandfather was a federal judge and also a successful bootlegger. One of the cowboys who had worked on our families ranch used to joke that the reason he never got fired in the 40+ years he worked for us was because he knew where on the ranch some rival bootleggers are buried. I always thought he was joking until a few years ago while going through some old oil leases I found a letter forbidding any drilling (test or otherwise) or roadwork on a particular half section of the ranch.”

9. Naive

“My dad got arrested for corruption last month. I had no idea where all the money came from, felt very naïve.”

10. Wow

“My grandpa was a product of rape. His biological father was a farmer who lived next door to my great-grandmother. The day my grandpa was born his father got struck by lightning while riding in a horse-drawn cart. The horse came back to the small Hungarian village with his burning body still in the cart.”

11. Crossdresser

“My dad recently confessed to my sister and I that he likes to dress-up as a woman and go out to bars with other men who enjoy the same thing, he even showed me pictures of himself. It’s been bizarre to fully digest it all because it really never occurred to me but I’m actually very relieved that he does that since I thought he was very lonely and didn’t have any friends.

He went through a divorce, the death of both of his parents and his company went bankrupt in the span of three years and became very depressed at one point, which I’m pretty sure is what led him to go look for something else in life. I’ve been a very complicated son and our relationship hasn’t been the best lately but I’m very happy that he found a place to feel comfortable in and that he found strength to confide in my sister and myself, I’m also very happy that he knows he’ll never be judged by us for the things he likes to do.”

12. Surprise

“I did a 23andme kit and matched with a guy a little younger than I am as first cousins. Absolutely nobody in my family knew my uncle had fathered a child after he and his first wife divorced. My uncle has been dead almost 20 years, but his twin daughters have since met their half brother and he is getting to know our entire massive family.”

13. Wanted

“My grandpa is probably wanted for something serious in his country of birth.

He was born in Armenia sometime prior to ww2. He refuses to explain why but he ended up in France under somewhat murky circumstances.

He joined the French Foreign Legion under a fake name. His real first name is totally unknown to anyone that is alive anymore. The last person who knew was my Grandma who died about ten years ago. One of the last things she said to me was “I never did like the fact he picked Jacque as his name.”

He was wounded during the war in indochina and received French Citizenship (a clause in the Legion’s contract states if you get wounded in the service of france you get citizenship) and got his papers in his assumed name.

Fast forward until I am in my early 20s and in the military and stationed in europe. I ask him if we have any family members still living in Armenia so I could visit them. He insists I never go there or ever try to contact any of them.

He died last year.”