People Share The One Family Secret That Shocked Them To The Core


Most families have secrets - some are inspiring, others are horrifying. The thread below contains both. It might make you appreciate the mundane.

moonraker_333 asked Redditors: What family secret shocked you the most?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Dark but pretty cool nonetheless.

We're descended from the first recorded serial killers in the United States: The Harpe Brothers. One of their women was sent back home after the Brothers were caught. Her parents married her to a local pastor to try and hide the scandal, who adopted her child by the Harpe Brother as his own. We are direct descendants of what is likely the earliest documented serial killers in the United States. My mother found all of this out while researching our genealogy after having a gene test done. She ended up finding a ton of paperwork proving the direct lineage and shared DNA with current relatives of theirs. When she called up my aunts excitedly to tell them, they both scolded her and told her "We don't discuss that in the family. Things like that are best forgotten" and refuse to talk and will even leave the room if she brings it up now. She thought you guys would like that and asked me to share.


Autistic doesn't mean oblivious. Poor guy.

When my mom was 14, her father died. Nobody thought to talk to her severely autistic/handicapped older brother about it, figuring that he'd spent most of his life in a group home and he couldn't really understand.

But damn, he sure noticed. And everybody realized that he is just as aware as anybody else, even if he can't express it.


Some secrets are left unsaid.

My entire childhood, my grandpa was in a wheelchair. Nobody ever talked about what was wrong with him or why he was both mentally and physically handicapped. A few years after he died (from colon cancer) my mom confessed to me that her own brother accidentally shot their dad in the head on a hunting trip. My uncle was 15 when this happened. He was never the same after, either. Ended up living his life in my grandma's basement, comforting himself with food until he was well over 500 pounds and died from going into a diabetic coma.


I'll take it.

I may have a half sister in another country. But my mom has made it very clear she gets no part of the inheritance.

It's a touchy subject.


The guilt from being the exception?

Several years before I was born, my mother tried to strangle my older brother.

I'm pretty sure it was before I was born, anyway. He's fine now (I think). I learned of this and other traumatic childhood events from my older siblings very recently, and I admit I haven't really known what to make of it. My mother hit me once in my whole life, and it didn't really hurt much. Meanwhile my older siblings have recently opened up about the abuse they suffered from her. My father did nothing.

It's like my mother was a whole new person when I was born. I don't really know how to think of her now.


Relationship goals right here.

That my parents DIDN'T meet in college. My dad was banging my mom's roomate while they were in college. Moms roomate finds a new guy, passed dad off to mom. Well, they clicked.

They partied for 7 days straight. My mother eventually had to go to work and she fell asleep on the train. My dad got a cab to go pick her up and they kept partying.

2 months later, my father flies my mother out to Idaho where he's stationed, and proposes when she gets off the plane. I came along 4 years later. I'm the oldest child.

Still together, 41 years later. When asked about it, I was told "it was the 70's."


The last part of this is really sad.

My aunt and my uncle have a different dad than my mom and my other aunt. I only found out as a teenager because before that they always made it seem like a joke.

My religious pro-life family suggested my mom get an abortion with my brother.

My mom was going to break up with my dad when he proposed. She married him because she really wanted children but she never truly loved him.


Good for Grandma.

Grandpa was gay. My grandparents separated (but didn't divorce) when I was young, and when he died 20 years later a distraught old man showed up to the funeral and laid a dozen red roses on his coffin. I'd met him once or twice, but only at social gatherings. It wasn't like "this is Grandpa's special friend", he was just "Gus, from the model train club".

To her credit, my grandmother insisted Gus sit next to her in the front row with the rest of our family.

The South is a weird place...


We need to meet Dangerfield Rice.

That the man I knew as my dad's dad wasn't his biological father, and my father finally found his biological father running a diner with his daughter, my dad's biological half-sister. He went to the diner, but didn't approach either of them. He doesn't want to deal with the consequences it might bring. Also, one of our ancestors on my mom's side was a cattle thief who got away with it for a while, got caught eventually, and ended up living in Montana (?) As a settler to hide from the law. Also, we have an ancestor named Dangerfield Rice on the same side.


Another good example of why Reddit is anonymous.

I am directly related to Carlo Gambino the head of the Italian Mafia. My grandfather goes back to Italy every now and then and gets free food at restaurants and he stays in his friends EXTRA villa. Last time he went to Italy, he immediately hung out with the mayor and told the mayor how he used to f--- his wife when they were young.


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