My dad secretly had a vasectomy after I was born, after my mom lying to him about taking birth control resulted in my birth.
Our family is GREAT at communication and conflict resolution.
Bored Panda was curious to get the thread author’s thoughts on why the question they posed started such a massive discussion on Reddit. They were happy to share their take on why the topic resonated with so many online readers, pointing out that it’s a relatable question.
“Reddit is quite a platform, covering all sorts of topics with people sharing their weird stories. In my own family, there are some secrets and drama, but nothing too outlandish,” the OP opened up to us about the inspiration behind the question.
“I decided to ask Reddit about darker family secrets to see what would come up, and surprisingly, it gained a lot more attention than I anticipated!” they said.
That my grandma didn’t lose her leg to cancer, she lost it because she got injured helping my grandpa fix the roof, and my grandpa was too cheap to have it fixed properly so he told the doctor to cut it off.
Not exactly dark, but I found out my father wrote p**n novels under a pen name to make ends meet when I was a baby. I’ve been trying to find one ever since.
We also asked the redditor how open families ought to be about their secrets, and how old someone ought to be to hear the real truth about their relatives.
“I reckon families should be quite open about their history. Sooner or later, those holes in the made-up stories meant to avoid the real secrets start to show,” the author of the post, Reddit user u/EgglessYolk, told us.
“Especially when someone hits their twenties—that’s when things start to click as you become more of an adult.”
My dads first cousin is Kenneth McDuff. We saw the Americas Most Wanted episode when it aired and were so surprised to hear about a McDuff, not knowing he was a relative.
I found out when I was in my early 30’s that my mom hadn’t only had 4 kids, but actually 6 but gave 2 up for adoption before I was born. Also, i was the last baby she had with some rando before she married my stepdad and she had intended to give me up for adoption, as well.
Silver lining? One of the babies she gave up contacted her a few years after I learned about this and now I have an awesome new brother!
I knew my grandfather was a coal miner, and that he was really involved with the Union, but it wasn’t til after he died that I found out just how much of a Union Man he was… if something needed blowing up or someone needed to not be breathing anymore, they called Gramps.
After he died, my brother remembers some men coming to visit Gran and giving her a lot of envelopes. She took off for a yearlong vacation in Europe after that.
Edit: for all the people saying my Gramps was a great man, thank you for the kind thoughts, but seeing something you think is cool on reddit is not the reality. He wasn’t a good husband and he wasn’t a great father to 3 of his daughters, although he loved my Momma very much, as well as me and my brothers and cousins.
Being a violent person for good reasons does not make you a good person. It just makes you a means to an end.
Meanwhile, the author also revealed their thoughts on transparency as a whole, and shared whether there are any family secrets that ought to remain, well, secret.
“To be honest, I don’t think so,” they explained that they’re 100% set on transparency.
“I believe that all family secrets should see the light of day at some point, at least within the family circle. Of course, there might be some you wouldn’t want outsiders prying into, but within the family, it’s essential to eventually share them,” they told Bored Panda.
“Over time, they can even turn into interesting stories for people to tell—you know, like on a Reddit thread or something.”
My grandmother married her second husband entirely for money. Her daughters both like to joke about her intentionally giving him a heart attack. He had heart problems but liked to eat unhealthy food, and the rumor goes she would put extra salt and butter on his food until he finally kicked the bucket.
My uncle was actually my cousin. He was kidnapped as an infant and when he was returned a year later, my aunt didn’t want him back. My grandparents adopted him so he was legally my uncle.
How open family members ought to be about secrets depends on a couple of things. First of all, you have to take into account whether the secret affects just you as an individual or the entire family as a whole. And secondly, it’s important to keep in mind the scope of the secret and the possible fallout from telling everyone about them.
For instance, if something tragic happened to a relative, it might be wise to keep the information under wraps, within a small group of people. Sharing something traumatic with a child may give them nightmares, especially if they don’t have the capacity to process the information (yet). So it may be wise to wait until everyone’s grown up until they’re told what happened to a beloved relative.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that secrecy and privacy are two very different things. Just because you’re close to someone does not mean that you have to tell them about every tiny little thing and thought that pops into your head. It’s fine to keep some things to yourself. Living with 100% honesty would be exhausting and might make people think that you have no filter or may be too blunt.
I don’t know about dark but here goes. My great grandfather m******d the mayor of the village he lived in. Why? Because the mayor was sleeping with his mom while his father worked on the field. I think he was 15 or 16 when he did that.
I found out I had a sister who had been given up for adoption. The only reason I found out was the person who informed me no longer felt bound to secrecy after my mom died. And the person who told me had “receipts” solid enough that I have no reason to doubt them.
It also explains why mom freaked out when I told her I’d done a 23AndMe test.
Found out my Dad’s mom was a lesbian and that my “Godmother” who lived with both my Grandfather and Grandmother was actually her lover. They slept in the same bed while my Grandfather had his own room. Growing up I had no idea, but as I got older I pieced it together… But I loved them all and still do (RIP).
However, if the information affects the people closest to you, it might be a good idea to spill the beans. After all, deep relationships require trust, respect, and transparency. If you’re being secretive, your feelings should give you a heads up about it: you might feel guilty or ashamed. On the flip side, if something’s merely a private issue, you won’t feel bad about withholding that information. There’s nothing wrong with having at least some privacy in your life, no matter how much you might love your family.
When uncomfortable secrets come out, they might shock everyone. What’s important is that you embrace whatever feelings you have, instead of shying away from them or repressing them. All emotions are valid, and it’s vital that you allow yourself to feel what you feel.
“You might feel discomfort, disgust, anger, pain, denial, rejection, grief, apathy … maybe even excitement. It’s all normal, and you have permission to fall anywhere along that full range of human emotion. In fact, you might not even be able to put your finger on how you feel,” ‘Focus on the Family’ explains.
My paternal grandmother had an affair with our small town’s mortician in the 1940’s. She got pregnant and he performed an illegal a******n. The fetus was buried behind the funeral home he owned where we kids used to sled every winter. My dad told me this as I was getting ready to take a ride down the hill on the sled when I was 12. Also, paternal grandfather had multiple illegitimate children around our small town. Turns out one of my best friends was also my half cousin. Father told me when I was 17. My father was educated, intelligent, honest and moral. The fact that his parents were so wild was absolutely shocking to me.
My dad’s side of the family has ties with the mafia. Thankfully my mom has long since divorced my dad and they life a decent distance apart. I heard stories of my mom’s parents who lived close by at the time circling the block in their truck late at night soon after the divorce to ensure no one was there to hurt us. I was very young at this point, probably like 3-4 so I really have no memory of this. I do remember one night our garbage can was burned to the ground, and my mom has since told me about death threats soon after the divorce. My mom a couple years ago watched a documentary on prominent mafia families and noted multiple names that were at her wedding.
Y’all’s stories are WILD! Mine is super tame:
When I was in my early 20s, I found an old photo of someone in a family album I didn’t recognize. When I asked my mom about it, she said, “Oh that’s your aunt Gloria.” Then she lowered her voice (even though we were alone) and added, “she’s a *NUDIST*.” Poor aunt Gloria, just wants to be a nudy-lady and everyone acts like she’s a leper.
However, if you’re having difficulty processing the news, it might be worth reaching out to someone for help. You could talk to your family members to make sense of things or to understand the context of what happened better.
Meanwhile, a trusted friend who won’t judge you could, for instance, hear you out to show their support or even offer you some advice if you ask for it. It might also be worthwhile to reach out to a therapist who could offer fresh new perspectives on the entire dramatic family situation. Whatever you choose to do, just remember that you’re never in this alone… and asking for a helping hand when processing things isn’t a sign of weakness.
Which of these stories shocked you the most, dear Pandas? Have you ever had to deal with sensitive family issues like these before? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Meanwhile, for some more radical honesty on Reddit, take a peek at Bored Panda’s previous article about uncovered family secrets right here.
My father is from small working town in Eastern Ukraine. And most of our lives we’ve been poor.
But my mother always praised my father for his ability to know the parfume by smell, and not only that but also he can recognise many famous parfumes my smelling them.
Once, when i was 20-something years i asked, why is that so? Where he obtained this skill? My father asked me to not ever tell this story to my mother.
And here’s the story: my father had a close friend who was actualy a secret lover of one of the most famous soviet singers, who officialy had wife. But it reality he was gay and did a lot for gay community in soviet union. He brought a lot of expensive things from abroad, like new music, clothes and parfumes. And a lot of that parfumes has been met at secret parties.
This gay-friend of my father also gave him all the fresh music releases vynill and he sold it and they shared the profit, unofficially of course. That’s why my dad knows release years of most hits from 60s and 70s.
And more of that, he told me about special square in Sochi (the place of Olympic games 2014) where gays of ussr met each other and what secret signals they had.
UPD: I was probably misunderstood. That secret-gay friend of my father was the only gay my father knew. All info about gays of USSR he know from that friend.
Parties, that i mentioned above, were not for gays, they were just normal parties for counter-culture youth. Gayness of his friend was a secret. Everybody on this parties was wondering where did he gets all this goodies rare in USSR, but he never answered. My father was allowed to know, only because he knew that friend from childhood. They were like relatives.
Okay, even if my dad had some gay experience, it’s fun to know, lol.
Circa 1994 My dad died(32) on Christmas Day. Instead of his family consoling my now single mother of 2, they decided it would be more appropriate to use their spare key to enter our house and clean out all his belongings while we were picking out a tombstone. All his tools, clothes, pictures (he was a model).
Thennnnn grandpa on dads side takes my mom to court while she’s mourning to try to prevent her from using his life insurance to raise us ( sister and I were 5 and 6 at the time). He wanted all the money to be set aside until we were 18. Judge pretty much threw his case out. Needless to say, my mom distanced herself from his side I don’t speak with them either. Found this out when I was like 20.
I always thought my two older brothers got addicted to drugs because of their own decisions and the people they hung out with. It turns out that my dad had been feeding them pills since they were about 10 to “shut them up.” Years I held resentment against them for not being good older brothers like they should have only to find out that it was my father who I had praised all those years that was truly evil.
Edit: wow, wasn’t expecting all of this lol. Just to address some of the comments: My brother’s are doing mostly fine now. Both struggled but eventually found sobriety. Luckily enough family didn’t give up on them. We have a pretty good relationship now and none of us hold anything against each other. We realize that none of us are to blame for the sins of our father. Not sure where dad is, no contact for about a decade now. In contrast, mom was and still is an angel. With her showing me who to be and my dad showing me exactly who NOT to be, I think I turned out pretty okay. A lot of the time the cycle just continues but my brother’s and I managed to break it. I’m sorry to every one who has gone through something similar, thank you for sharing your stories as well. Hope everyone finds their peace some day. Love you.
When I was very young, my family lived in a townhouse, and against all local bylaws, my mother decided to keep a horse in our backyard. Not only that, but it was an ex-racehorse that came as a package deal: the goat companion that slept in the closet of my nursery. I also later found out she was running a grow-op in the basement.
My relatives were a wealthy, childless couple in Chicago. Their housekeeper, who had a baby, took ill and was hospitalized. The couple took the baby to California and raised her as their own. This baby (Marie) grew up without siblings, as my grandmother’s cousin. Marie discovered the truth as an adult, by accident. Even though this kidnapping happened over 100 years ago, I always wondered what became of that poor woman who was released from the hospital to find her baby had been kidnapped by her employers. I have a set of china dishes from Marie that I use at Thanksgiving, every year. Wild story.
Growing up I always knew my parents had marital issues; constant fighting, a couple times Dad disappeared for a few days living in his car, issues with drinking. But they stayed together and when I asked why didn’t they divorce, they always said they loved each other too much. And in the past few years, things seemed to have gotten better. My parents in fact are now so comfortable in their relationship that they make jokes about all the awful stuff they’ve done to each other in front of me. What I’ve managed to put together is: -my parents met when they were 14 and my mother was dating an 18 year old and my dad would relentlessly ask her out until she eventually dumped her boyfriend for my dad -my mother went onto university after college (we’re UK) whereas my dad dropped out of college and went straight into work while constantly drinking and partying -it was at one of these parties (while my mum was studying) that he cheated on my mum with someone from their old secondary school so she dumps him -barely a year later my dad realises he doesn’t know how to do anything for himself, no one else wants him and he goes crawling back to my mum -she agrees to take him back but ONLY if he marries her (not immediately but *eventually* she said), he agrees and a short year after that (aged 22 now) she’s already pressuring him to propose, he fumbles it frankly (were in Paris but forgot the ring and proposed back in the hotel room after they’d visited the eiffel tower that day which was her dream proposal) but she says yes -a month after they’re married mum pressures him into having a child that he doesn’t want and nine months later I was born, they soon realise how hard having a child is and basically drop me off on my grandparents for the rest of my childhood -after me there were two more accidental babies and each time my dad threatened to leave her, but she managed to convince him to stay while keeping my siblings by promising he wouldn’t have to raise them (he didn’t but neither did she frankly, I did) And that is only what happened before/shortly after I was born, if I carried on into my childhood, we’d be here for years. What they sold to me as the perfect love story (been together since they were 14, proposed in Paris, soon married and had children because of pure love) is in fact a bunch of skewered half truths from a horrible twisted love map of my mother’s manipulation and my father disappointing her time and time again.
WHY THE NEIGHBORS MOVED: I was pretty young when this happened so the details won’t be perfect, but the story is otherwise true. I grew up in a coastal town and we had some neighbors whom I really liked. My parents were friends with them, their kids were roughly my age. Wonderful! We played together all the time. One day they very suddenly moved. I was a bit confused as there had been no clue that they were going. I remember some police cars and the moving vans weeks later, but that was it. My mother told me that the kids grandmother had become very ill ( the cops came to tell the family) and they left emergently to care for her and never came back. I was only about 5….. seemed legit. Many years later, as an adult, and long since moved away from that area… my parents and I were reminiscing over our old home. I mentioned that I wondered what ever happened to them. That’s when my mom told me the truth. The parents had gone out that night on a date and left the kids with a 14 yr old babysitter. When they returned home they found the sitter dead. Someone had broken into the home. My mom stated the cops think the sitter pretended to be the only one home to protect the kids. When the parents got home they checked the kids were safe and set them back to sleep. The police obviously immediately came. Once the kids were hard asleep the parents picked them up, put blankets over their heads, asked the cops to be silent as they walked them out, and took them out of the house. They gave the kids the same story my parents told me. Gramma was sick and they were going to live with her. Gramma dutifully played along with the ruse for several weeks until the parents could find a new home to live in. The kids were kept unaware of what had happened just mere feet from them as they didn’t want the kids to be forever terrified of it happening again. Not sure if the kids ever eventually figured out the truth of that one.
That my biological mother used to give me pills as a baby and toddler to control me then drop me off at my grandmother’s house when she couldn’t afford to share so I’d go through withdrawals but no one would no what was wrong. Needless to say, I was put up for adoption to get me away from that
FINALLY I GOT ONE!
From when I was aged 6 to 13, my Mom dated a fellow named Murray. We all lived together in an old farmhouse.
Murray was a wonderful father figure to us, but he also had a drinking and driving problem, and after a particularly nasty accident, mom waited until he came home from the hospital and was well enough to take care of himself before leaving.
The whole time we lived there, my sister and I never went down into the basement, as it was *INFESTED* with spiders.
I always thought it was because of the drinking and driving she left him, but as it turns out that was only part of it. The other being that **he had a massive grow op for weed in the basement**.
Mom stated had the police found out about this, she would have lost custody of us.
Murray has long since passed, but he would have had a giggle that weed is legal here now…
Not super dark or super secret, but when I had to do a project on my family tree in elementary school one of the questions was “When did your family immigrate to America and why?” For one of my great-grandfathers, my grandma told me “Life was very hard back in his country, and it was getting dangerous to stay there.” and for a long time I thought “Yeah, I can see that. It was probably hard for a teenager living in Poland with WWI right around the corner!” And I’m sure it was. But it turns out it’s even harder and more dangerous when you’re a teenager who has slept with a married woman and then accidentally k****d her husband when he confronted you. I can see why she didn’t want me to put that on my elementary school project. edit: Wrong World War. I just pulled up his Ellis Island records and he immigrated in 1912 aboard the Carpathia in August.
My parents took me to Disneyland for my 7th birthday. I recall landing, going to the park, having a great first day or two. Then my parents had to step out and take a bunch of phone calls. They sounded very stressed. They kept telling me nothing happened and everything was okay. Eventually we flew home, and surprise!! Took an extra couple days to go to a big Waterpark away from home. I fondly remembered this birthday and eventually forgot about any of the weirdness. Maybe 10 years later my parents finally told me what happened. My uncle, my dad’s brother, tried to k**l himself on my 7th birthday. He was poor, addicted to drugs, no work, etc. He felt depressed my dad had the life he always wanted. He ended up living. My parents took me to the Waterpark so that we didn’t have to come home to him leaving the hospital. By not telling me, my parents let me keep my birthday as my day, not the day uncle tried to die. Knowing how a 7 year olds brain works, I probably would’ve thought I had something to do with it.
My grandpa (15) kidnapped my grandma (14) from a convent. No one even bothered looking for her thereafter cause she was an orphan and didn’t even know who her family was. They had 16 children together.
I wasn’t let in on it more like I found out about it but my siblings have a different dad than I do, that was common knowledge and not the secret at all. The secret was that their dad actually didn’t die in the hospital of a terminal illness, he died of s*****e when he threw himself from the window of the hospital he was slowly dying in.
When my grandma’s gentleman friend was admitted into a care home for his dementia they had a problem in verifying his medical records. As he deteriorated he lost his Irish accent and would occasionally speak in German. He was a child during WW2.
My Parents reckon he was probably a Jewish escapee
My grandfather had severely scarred legs from burns he got as a kid. Growing up we were told that he was in a fire in an apartment building and sustained the burns while escaping. He died when I was 7, and one of my few memories of him is an image of those scarred legs. Well, when I was 23, my great aunt (his sister), told me that it wasn’t a fire. Their father ran a bath with scalding water and put my grandfather in it as a punishment.
My dad left when I was 7 and we were always told that it just didn’t work out with my parents. We saw him off and on for about 2 years after he left then never saw him again. He had remarried and she had a kid that became his step son that my brother and I would hang with when we would go to my dad’s house, then when I turned 13 my mom finally told me that the step son was actually his son from having an affair with that woman. So that kid was my half brother and I had no clue.
Just found this one out recently. My uncle was a doctor working in a small town hospital. He was married and had just had a baby boy. While his wife was pregnant or just had the baby he had an affair with two nurses in the hospital and ended up getting one of the nurses pregnant. When he found out of the second kid he took his family and f****d off to New Zealand for 3 years. Upon returning to Canada and the same small town hospital his wife immediately found out about his illegitimate child and divorced him.
My (illegitimate) cousin stopped coming around to family events and when I talked to him about it last year he told me that my grandparents always blamed him for ruining my uncle’s marriage.
I had an aunt that I never met, and never knew she existed until very recently. I don’t see that side of the family almost ever, because they kicked my grandma out of the family after she married a half black guy. Anyway, this aunt spent the last 30 years of her life in Ancora, an inpatient psychiatric hospital. She lived a perfectly healthy and normal, albeit extremely racist, life until she was in her mid 40s. Then she found out that she was 25% black through some chain of events I still don’t fully understand. She. F*****g. Lost. It. She was so full of hate that her brain could not accept this information and it broke her. She would just scream the n-word at people, and didn’t really communicate in any other way. Im convinced Dave Chappelle heard this story and made his black white supremacist skit. B***h stayed there until she died. I know extreme hate like that can f**k with people’s brains but I mean… come on
My grandpa’s brother died when I was a child. I hardly knew the guy so I wasn’t too interested in the service. I vaguely remember my parents warning me not to stare at some of the men but I figured that was a “good manner” moment. Fast forward to my later teens/early adult and turns out, yup, we were **surrounded by members of the Italian mafia**. Everyone in my family was tense (even the departed’s wife) because they all knew he had *some* connection to them, but didn’t exactly know as he never spoke of it to anyone
My dad took me out for a walk when I was in middle school to tell me that I have a half brother in Japan with a similar name and birthday as me. We have the same dad, different moms. My brother has known about me his whole life, as a sister who lives in the States, but I only found out about his existence on that day.
I was told by my aunt (before my parents thought it necessary) that my Dad had cheated on my Mum and slept with a stripper and that I was her daughter and not actually my ‘Mother’s’.
I found out years later that my Dad wasn’t actually my Dad either – though he thought he was which is why he put his name on my birth certificate and brought me home when my birth mother wanted nothing to do with me.
Not so much “dark” as it was annoying and made me question everything, but I found out my biological dad actually was in my life for a few years.
My family told me for most of my life that he left *before* I was born because he was “a deadbeat that couldn’t take responsibility”. In my 20s, I found a photo of him and me. My brother told me everything. The truth is that apparently there was an incident where mom went a little crazy on him and he got arrested and left afterward. From then on, I took everything they said about him with a big grain of salt.
Still never met him, and don’t really have a desire to. Just upset me that they lied for so long.
This might be a bit too weird for this thread. I am from a country still enshrined in a lot of superstition and religion. My great great grandmother was a crazy woman who practiced witchcraft. One day her husband died unnaturally and granny went mad. She gathered the village folk around and picked up a rock from the ground nearby and declared that the rock will be her curse and the village will suffer for k*****g her husband, after that she k****d herself. For multiple generations my family worshipped the rock as a deity and prayed to lift the curse from the village. It ended when my father in his 20s got sick of his family doing stupid s**t. Him and his cousins stole the rock overnight from someone’s house and threw it near a railway track. And no I wish I was making this s**t up but my father, uncles and aunts all told me this story when I grew up.
I wasn’t let in on it so to speak. My dad is “Polish” and I took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100%… not Polish. I look exactly like my dad. My dad looks nothing like his father.
My great grand-parents got drunk and locked two of my uncle’s out of the house late at night in the middle of winter. My great-grandparents wouldn’t wake up and my uncles couldn’t get in, so they tried to walk to their grandma’s house that was like 15 miles away, and one of them froze to death and the other had to have is feet and hands amputated because of frostbite. My great-grandparents lied about what happened and said they snuck out.
It was in the newspaper and was made out to be this heartbreaking story, about two dumb little kids who snuck out in the middle of the night because they wanted to see their grandma.
Husband’s family has a dark secret that still isn’t out to the people who really need to know and I hate that I know. His youngest aunt was “sent away” when she was a teenager and shortly after she returned, the oldest uncle and his wife introduced the family to “their daughter”. Young aunt went on to have 3 more kids who have no clue that their cousin is actually their half sister. What’s even more F’d up is that her “brothers” know the secret!!! I’m dreadful that someone will need a donor or do an ancestry test and all the lies will be exposed. Glad I could get that off my chest. If you’re assuming this is a “good Christian family” you would be correct. It’s all about appearance.
I found out when I was about 32 that apparently in 1973 my dad had a daughter he never knew existed.
I found out because he texted that to me while I was working, after finding out about it himself about 1 week earlier. She was in her late 40’s by that point, I think.
What’s sort of tragic is all this time we thought I was my dad’s only kid, and he always wanted a dauighter but never got one due to marriages ending. He would have f*****g LOVED this girl. his daughter was the result of a one-night stand with a girl he never talked to again, and according to his daughter the mother had a mental breakdown not longer after giving birth and never really had custody of the daughter anyway.
Dad never would have had any way to find out, the baby grew up with the mother’s parents in another state, and the mother kinda went AWOL.
When i was a kid in the mid 80s my uncle got some serious braces and had to drink liquids only for a whilr
Only when I got older did I learn that he’d actually had his jaw wired after being tortured for information… had a gun put in the mouth and eventually his jaw shattered because he wasn’t talking…
…He wasn’t talking cos he didn’t know anything.
Thank god northern ireland has moved on from those days.
Found this out after my grandfather died. Growing up every older guy in the neighborhood would say how tough he was. I mean he was the most intimidating man Id ever met, you would jump if he sneezed. Im not even exaggerating. But Id never seen him actually fight. But everyone, and I mean everyone, women and men, would say he never lost a fight and usually never had to throw more than one punch to knock someone out. Simply put he was a bad m**********r. But growing up he would always preach to me and my cousins to never fight if you could help it. Just walk away. If theyre insulting you just walk away. Its only words. Sticks and stones and all that. Hed drill it into our heads that you never fight unless you have to and never under any circumstances do you throw the first punch. Ever. I was kind of confused. Every older person in our neighborhood would tell me how nobody f****d with “Blackie” because of how many people he knocked out, and he would always tell us NOT to fight. Turns out when he was in his 20s he got into a fight with someone. Apparently the guy kept insulting him and wouldnt leave him alone. Finally he had enough and cracked the guy. Knocked him out with one punch. Problem is when he landed he hit his head on a step. It was lights out for good. K****d him with one punch. I had never heard this story and confused about how he didnt get locked up. Turns out he did. Got like 15-20 years or something like that. Then WW 2 happened. When I was a kid Id always ask my mom how my grandfather entered the war, was he drafted or volunteered? Shed say oh it was like the movie The Dirty Dozen. Which I had never seen or had any interest in when I was young so I had no idea what that meant. Turns out the Army made him a deal. Go to the front lines in Japan. If you live well expunge your record. If not, oh well. He went. Things made a lot more sense after that.
That my grandfather was a horribly abusive alcoholic and he died in a fire that started because he passed out drunk with a lit cigarette.
Dark-ish, but I prefer to see it in a romanticised light: my maternal great grandmother was the chief of a gang of highwaymen (think early 1900’s). I would LOVE to know more, but apparently it’s a touchy subject for my Nana so I don’t push it.
My grandma had an affair with a catholic priest while she was married and then left her high school sweetheart who she had 5 children with. Then she ended up living with said priest and her kids had to lie and refer to him as an uncle when people asked them about their living situation.
I always thought it was true love; I found and kept letters and notes they wrote each other when he was overseas with the military and it seemed so genuine and I’d always heard so many nice stories (and I suppose it could have been true love.) I was raised to believe that my biological grandfather (my dads real dad) was a monster. I had been under the impression he left my grandma and abandoned his 5 five children. My one aunt died in a drunk driving accident and he couldn’t be bothered to show up. I never met him my entire childhood. I was literally encouraged to actively hate him. They said he remarried and basically started a new family and was controlled by his wife.
The priest essentially raised my dad and aunts and uncles and they have always revered him. He died before I was old enough to have any memories of him but I’d always looked at him with a positive light. He’d taken my grandma and a couple of the kids to Hawaii, bought my grandma a suburban and the house was in his name. My grandma was even left his military benefits (still unclear on how this was finagled.) He paid for the kids colleges. He had an incredible life. He had pictures with Bob Hope and other celebrities, got to travel a ton of places, etc.
One day I was curious if he had any relatives alive and if they had ever known about this salacious relationship. Then I googled him and it changed my life forever.
He (posthumously) was accused in a lawsuit, with a large group of priests, of wrongdoing over an extended period of time. You can guess the nature of the lawsuit. It was on several law websites and I found the lawsuit papers. Surely enough his name was mentioned. Unease began to ensue.
I did more digging and eventually found a 16 page document. This document was specific to him and included a police report and internal Catholic Church investigations into his transgressions among other things. Early into his priesthood he was accused of harboring a runaway 14 year old girl. He had explanations for everything… ofc. Reading the police report was absolutely devastating bc it seemed like the police did no due diligence and nothing came of the report. Then there were pages worth of internal Catholic Church investigations in which I learned he would have young, distastefully dressed girls hanging out in his rectory and was drinking and showing up to events and/or not showing up at all. He once said he had been called by the military and was away from the church, except he lied and had been drinking, gambling and philandering with women. Members of the church and other priests wrote anonymous letters about his conduct and asked for his removal. There were bouts of rehab and probation but he was moved to another church. Some of the same antics occurred. You get the picture. This man my family had told me to revere as a literal god send was in fact NOTHING of the sort.
Then I found a summary of all his transgression over the years that led to his “retirement.” This is when I found out when he took my grandma, dad and his two siblings to get the suburban he physically assaulted my grandma and assaulted kicked my dad and his siblings. I cross referenced all of this information with birth years, where they grew up and lived and the fact my uncle still has the suburban.
I was by myself when I found all of this out and I’ve asked my dad if he’s ever looked him up and he said yes. So he knows of the lawsuit but I haven’t asked if he dug as far as I did to find this 16 page document. I don’t know how to approach this or if it’s even worth bringing up to him. I’m curious how much he knows and if he remembers being assaulted. I’m also extremely disturbed if they knew of his past and chose to lie to me about this man. If they didn’t, then my heart breaks for what they endured with years of lies, abuse and the hurt they felt. It also makes me question my grandmother and he choices and everything she subjected her children to.
My dad and aunt reconnected with my biological grandfather a few years ago. He eventually came to visit us from across the country. I was in my mid-20s meeting my biological grandfather. I am truly apathetic to him and forming a relationship with him. My moms mom had 2 husbands and those were my grandpas. My grandpas and grandmas have all passed now so I’ve mourned losing all of my grandparents. I do not feel this man is my grandfather and have been at peace with this for a very long time.
However, it’s made me realize, my grandma abandoned him. He was the one who came to the church with the suspicion she was having an affair with the priest. At that my heart breaks for him. The priest also did my aunts funeral, so while some piece of me feels I can’t forgive him for not going to his own daughters funeral, I also can’t imagine having to face a priest who my wife ran off with.
I’m so torn that my family pitted me against this man that is my biological grandfather when this priest was clearly a fraud and lacked human decency and morals. It is also clear that my grandma made extremely questionable decisions and (with other unrelated reasons) had tarnished my vision of her.
Needless to say one of my wild facts has changed significantly from my grandma fell in love with a priest. Truly so conflicting and heartbreaking.
My grandma and uncle were both diagnosed with cancer in the 90s. My uncle went into remission, grandma died. Almost a decade later, my uncle’s cancer came back in full force. He and his partner of 40 years were hoarders. My mom/his sister didn’t realize this initially because they lived about 2 hours apart. She only knew after her first visit to help take care of him. We all made several trips to help clean up.
On one of these occasion, uncle’s common law husband mentions he needs to hit up the PO box as they haven’t collected mail in a few days. Mom offers to drive him. When they get back to the house, mom notices a letter from the IRS addressed to grandma. Weird because grandma hasn’t been alive to file taxes in almost 10 years.
Turns out uncle and grandma had a joint bank account. He never notified authorities of her death. She still got direct deposits from grandpa’s government pension- post mortem, because the government didn’t know she was dead. Not only did my uncle illegally receive thousands of dollars of my grandma’s pension, he also had several maxed out credit cards. He knew the cancer coming back was a death sentence and decided to live it up while he was still here.
Ooh ooh! My mom’s uncle was in the mob. He was enforcer for Jimmy Hoffa in Chicago. He would take my mom and her sisters to go get ice cream and pay with $100 Bills. Then he’d go to a bar and they would wait outside while he “went in to talk.” He mysteriously never had a real job but always had money they said…
Learned last year that my father went in debt to buy the Ps1 for my brother, which, at the time, went through a cardiac surgery. He received it at the hospital and we still have it. Also my father went in debt some more times so that we would have stuff that he never had the opportunity to have. It’s a “dark secret” just because it was my mom that told me, after a literal decade. Nowadays we are very well financially.
That my grandmother probably trapped my grandfather into marriage by lying about being pregnant. Cost him an appointment to the Naval Academy (midshipmen can’t be married) and generally f****d up that side of the family for a generation. She was a pretty good grandma, but apparently a s**t wife and mother.
My Aunt had an illegitimate daughter her family doesn’t know about. She was one of My mother’s 8 sisters.
My grandfather had a family before having my father, that woman took her two children, changed their last names, and moved somewhere out west.
My great grandfather died in a house fire. Evidently he was sleeping with a married woman and her husband was mad and locked him in the house and set it on fire.
My aunt isn’t actually dead. She left the family to join a religious cult cause they said she would never have a baby unless she left.
That my adorable nerdy mom spent 3 years in prison for being an accessory to hiding a body in the late 70s.
My MIL got married (in her late 60’s) to her current husband about a month after his first wife died.
My 22-year-old niece commented about how short their courtship must have been.
“Only if you don’t count the decades that they were having an affair,” I replied.
My niece was flabbergasted that this had happened. Her Mom walked by, and my niece said, “Mom, did you know that Grandma had an affair?”
“You mean with
We had to have a sit-down and talk through any other obvious secrets that she may have missed (her Aunt never had kids with her first husband because he was gay, her-step Grandmother had been her Grandfather’s secretary right up until the time he divorced her Grandmother, etc.)
When I turned 21, my grandfather told me a story about his older brother that I had never heard. My great-uncle was a big boozer for most of his life. He passed at 92 and by then had switched from liquor to beer and wine; he also cut down to one pack of cigarettes a day instead of two after he had half a lung removed.
Pap and my uncle grew up on a farm in the 30s and 40s. Mostly the family ran the farm by themselves, but from time to time they would hire drifters on as farm-hands. In 1950, my uncle and one of the farmhands were out drinking and they were driving back to the farm in my uncle’s convertible. My uncle was the one driving and he misjudged a turn that had a steep bank on the right side. He ran the car up the embankment, which was steep enough to flip it. My uncle was throw from the car, but the farmhand he was drinking with was only halfway out of the car when it landed. Pap said he was severed clean into two pieces.
Because the farmhand was just a drifter without any family to make much fuss and because the Korean War had just started, my uncle was able to enlist and avoid any criminal charges. He was in Korea until the end of the war.
That was the only time I’ve ever heard that story told and although I would never be someone who has more than a few drinks before getting behind the wheel, it’s something that definitely sticks in my mind. And it’s a story I’ll tell my own kids when they get their license.
You guys Netflix is gonna steal all these stories and make Meryl Streep play your evil grandma’s haha
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