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Learning about a juicy family secret can typically go one of two ways.


Sometimes it's purely fascinating and fills us with the same excited interest as faraway gossip. Other times, however, it involves us personally, and the truth is hard to bear.

People all over the internet are loaded with stories of both varieties, and a recent Reddit thread asked folks to come forward with theirs.

Redditor skadarski asked:

"Did your parents reveal a secret to you once you reached adulthood? If so, what was it?"

For many, the deep secrets involved the hidden, true relationships between family members. Soap operas are not as fictional as we may have hoped.

A Holiday Reveal

"That I had a much older half-sister. Apparently my father had got some girl knocked up in high school, her parents didn't like him and thought they were too young to raise a kid, so they just packed up and moved. He knew she existed, but never tried to locate her and just moved on with his life."

"After I was in college, the sister had contacted him and they got together. Well nobody bothered to mention this fact to me until I come home from college for Thanksgiving and this strange women is sitting at the table and my dad says, 'Meet your sister.' "

-- Dervrak

Kept Far Away

"When I turned 18 I got a letter from a distant Aunt and Uncle wishing me a happy birthday."

"I hadn't seen them since I was a a baby, but there's hundreds of pictures of them and me together when I was a baby. They used to babysit me a lot and take me on vacations with them."

"My Mom told me they used me to smuggle things. I guess they said it was super easy to smuggle just about anything with a baby. At one point literally hiding cocaine in my diaper."

-- maid-for-hire

Found Out

"When I was 18 my mom told me how my dad cheated on her with this woman named Kathy. I actually remembered Kathy when I was kid because my dad would take my brother and I to her house. She would buy us computer games and stuff so we loved her at the time. I never understood why my mom hated her until I was older."

"Kathy ended up marrying my dad's best friend. As an adult I was never nice to her and my dad would give me sh** about it. I finally told him that I knew about her and that mom had told me everything. He just said "Oh, alright then." He never gave me sh** again."

-- Jessibeeb

An Italian Coverup

"Kind of. My sister decided to take a DNA test to get some insight into her ancestry. She got her results back and had zero percent Italian, while our dad is 100% Italian. She didn't confront them right away and instead decided to wait until I took the test and get my results."

"Four weeks later I got my results back and sure enough, I also had zero percent Italian, and it actually identified my biological father, who isn't my dad. They revealed the secret when my sister intentionally let it slip that she was and I were waiting for our DNA results."

"I'm 38 and it never once came up. It wasn't even really for a bad reason, they had fertility issues and went to a sperm bank. I'm honestly not sure they ever would have said anything"

-- 3rd_eye

For others, the secret was all about the source--or absence--of cold hard cash.

A Deep, Deep Hole

"Most of my college was paid by someone named Tony (random dude to me). I know you're all thinking that it was some sort of lovechild thing, but it turns out my grandfather was a bookie and Tony was always just a bad gambler."

"So instead of My grandpa having his knees capped, he made a deal Tony would pay for college."

-- stickpoker

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Provided For

"My great-uncle (dad's uncle) left me a large sum of money in trust that I was to receive at either age 25, graduated from college, or was honorably discharged from military service (he retired from military), whichever came first. I had no idea and I'm glad I didn't."

"I joined the military right out of high school and when I had my DD-214 in hand, my parents took me to a lawyer who laid it all out. Wow. Because of the enhanced GI Bill, I didn't have to touch a cent of it for tuition. I did use it to buy a house though."

"I miss my great-uncle as much for his wisdom as his company."

-- PinocchioWasFramed

More Generous Than Any Knew

"My grandfather was a small business owner who everyone always thought of as extremely frugal due to growing up poor. Later we found out he spent a significant amount of money on charitable causes and helped a lot of his employees with financial and in one case legal trouble."

"Positive secret, but it was definitely a secret."

-- CaimansGalore

And some shared truly bizarre stories from the years they were too young to know what the heck was actually going on.

A Secret Prolonged

"Not yet, but when I was in college and my parents got divorced, my dad gave me all the information on what to do if he passes. Told me where things are, and had me go to his bank to sign a document for access to his account after he dies."

"When we were leaving the bank, he told me, 'your mother is not who you think she is. Everything you need to know is in my deposit box.' "

"I have no clue what he could be talking about—he never elaborated, and my mom laughed it off when I told her about it."

"Guess I'll find out one day."

-- root-bound

Not Just A Saying

"When I was a kid, my dad accidentally killed a raccoon with his car. It had a young one with it that wasn't hit, so we adopted the baby raccoon."

"We adored it, but we were not at all equipped to care for it. There was no lock or cage that could stop this thing. It was very clever, strong and curious. It got into cupboards and ate food and trash, and we'd find its sh** in the most random places."

"One day my dad sat me down and told me that my raccoon had 'gone to live on a farm.' I was old enough to know what that meant, and I was heartbroken."

"Just a few years ago I was telling this story to my husband and my dad interrupted me and said that he literally, actually gave my raccoon away to a work acquaintance of his that had a farm and a lot of wooded property. It had become so accustomed to humans it constantly broke into the man's house and ate his food, and got enormously fat and lived a long ornery raccoon life."

-- scurvy_knave

Hightailing It

"There was story growing up about how a local prince wanted to marry me and offered things like cows for my hand in marriage."

"When my father passed away I went to my home country and met cousins I had not met before."

"Turned out the prince was the president's son and it wasn't an offer, it was a demand. We snuck out of the country because he was going to make me his wife - bear in mind, I was a toddler."

"My mom filled in the back story. The company my dad worked for had to smuggle us out of the country. My life was so exciting when I was 6."

-- full-of-grace

Perhaps these stories have you feeling like your life could be more exciting. But before you start thinking that way, perhaps there are secrets you simply haven't heard yet.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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