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People Divulge The Strangest Thing They Realized About A Family Member Growing Up

People Divulge The Strangest Thing They Realized About A Family Member Growing Up
Ben White/Unsplash

Traditionally, when you're a kid, the adults in your life may try to shield you from the realities of the world. But eventually, we realize our parents are also people with full lives lead before we were even a glimmer in their eye.

Once you've grown up, you might put together the pieces you couldn't see when you were younger.

As we lose our innocence, we come to find out a lot of strange things may have been happening right in front of us, but only time would reveal those truths.

Redditor imnotsteven7 asked:

"What's something you realized about a family member once you got older?"

Here are some of the things people realized about their family much later in life.

Dad was trying his best.

"When I was a kid my dad and I had a tradition every week of going to the video store and renting a movie or two to watch together. I remember I used to get really upset at him because every single time we'd actually start to watch the movie he would fall asleep."

"It wasn't until I was older that I realized that the reason he would fall asleep was because he was exhausted from working two very physically demanding jobs to try and give me the best life he possibly could. On top of that, even though he was tired he still made an effort to try and start a little tradition with me and spend time with me."

"Those memories of me having to nudge my dad awake are so great in my eyes, because they made me realize what a caring and hard working man he was and still is to this day."

- -eDgAR-

"That my father (who I blamed for my miserable childhood) was possibly the best person I have ever known. Turns out, I made my childhood miserable all by myself; he was just trying to correct my path whilst raising 4 kids as a single parent and slowly dying from cancer."

- Bramyam

"You were a turd kid but grew up into an introspective adult. How did you achieve that?"

- Arctic_Snowfox

"Emotionally difficult life circumstances and events humble you, and make you realize that good things are taken for granted."

- FistInMyUrethra

What being the "cool" adult really means.

"My aunt was always the fun one who gave awesome presents because she was living well beyond her means, drowning in crippling debt, and committing various financial crimes."

- MightyMinx

"Yup. The 'cool' adult when you’re a kid, always turns out to just be an irresponsible adult."

- Proper_Praline

"My friends and classmates whose parents were 'cool' turned out to be terrible parents in hindsight. Letting your kids and their friends drink and smoke weed openly in the house when they are waaay underage is sh*tty parenting."

- Vegetable-Double

He had a traumatic past.

"That my dad actually had a pretty traumatic childhood. His mom died recently and he and his semi-estranged siblings are working together for the first time since they were kids to clean out her house. I've been learning a lot of new childhood stories as a result."

"My mom told me that my dad has always told her that the best thing he can do to make up for his sh*tty childhood is to give me and my siblings a better one. My dad isn't an emotional, lovey dovey guy at all, so hearing that really got me good."

- ActivityFar178

"My father does not show emotion either, I realized he cared about me when I saw how my friends parents treated them vs. How mine did. As I grew up I realized my dad matured at a very young age for similar reasons."

- spenser1994

He was "traveling."

"That my uncle wasn’t traveling—he was doing 30 years for homicide."

"He was working for sketchy people at some time and the gray area between legal and illegal sometimes gets mixed up over here, so according to him he didn’t do it (which is plausible) as all evidence was circumstantial and he was not directly affiliated with anyone and the people he worked with murder was far from an uncommon option to solve issues."

"He was condemned on qualified homicide with maximum sentence of 30 years, did I think 22 under closed regime and a few more in open and right now is completely free after some sentence deductions."

- Much_Committee_9355

Cop or gangster?

"My uncle was/is a gangster. I thought he was a police officer because of all the guns he always had with him."

- shooki007

"This is funny to me because I have a cousin who I thought was a criminal because of how he looked. Turned out he was an undercover cop at the time."

- pris-0

"I used to live between a cop and a drug dealer. Both great neighbours."

- nanfanpancam

It can take time to see what's right in front of us.

"That my grandfather, who was the best grandfather I could ever ask for, had been a sh*tty, abusive father."

- Hemenucha

"I finally pieced together that my grandfather, who raised me, has never been sober in my entire life. He started drinking in the morning, stopped when he fell asleep. He ran a pawn business with a full glass of scotch always within reach, even in view of customers. He fired a manager for suggesting he hide his drinking."

"That glass was never empty nor left his side, even while driving with my child self in the car. He went so far as to pack a cooler specifically for ice and booze on road trips. He once got on my a** for asking him not to bring a literal open glass of alcohol into my car when I started driving as a teenager. Still, it took me a ridiculous amount of time to realize he was an alcoholic."

- Pervy_writing

"Conferences" aren't what we thought they were.

"That my parents were smoking pot when they had their 'conferences' before watching Godzilla movies with me as a kid."

- StoneCold_SteveIrwin

"I call it getting air lol but I'm sure my kids know."

- Pkdagreat

"My parents called it 'talking about Christmas/birthday presents' and that’s why we weren’t allowed in the garage when their friends were over."

- BananaSlug1876

The gay relatives.

"My uncle didn’t go out to California and THEN turn gay."

- Accomplished-Fig496

"My aunts that live together weren't sisters."

- Trollamp

He was right.

"That my uncle was right about my mum."

"He suffered with alcohol addiction due to depression and when my rabbit died he accused my mum in a blind rage of killing my rabbit. He was drunk so I didn't really believe him but he said I'd realize what she was like when I was older."

"Then it hit me about a incident when I was little my mum was cross at me shed taken my hamster to the bath put him in the tub and threatened to drown him. Turned on the taps and I beat her legs pushed passed her and got him. I started thinking if she did that was it possible she'd killed my rabbit."

"I don't think she did but over the years as I grew older I noticed more and more what my uncle meant he died in 2009 at 40 from pneumonia in our house."

"My mum was being odd when I got in said she was waiting for the doctor for him and then we found him not breathing in his room, I don't think she deliberately didn't call a ambulance earlier but there's always a part of me that wonders."

- ExpensiveMoth

Auntie Was A Man

"(Originally my uncle) is a transgender woman and going to see her as a kid I didn’t understand the concept of transgenderism. I knew she was a woman but in a way she wasn’t, living with her girlfriend."

"My younger sister was smarter than I was and clued in at 4 years old that two girls living together must mean they were lesbian."

"Another thing about that is that I always knew that she was my moms sister but always wondered why she never came to family dinners or for Christmas or birthdays."

"Then all these years later I hear my grandpa talking about his political views and realized he’s a pretty far right conservative and it all came together."

– motorcitywings20

Blood Money

"I always thought my uncle was just a great fun guy that was always a blast to have at christmas dinners. He used to give me $50-100 for Christmas (which is a lot of money for a 9 year old). My parents would get big cuts of expensive meat and expensive bottles of champagne...."

"Turns out he's just a raging heroin addict and mostly those gifts were obtained through crime."

– DPEYoda

The Grandfather's History

"So this isn’t me personally but it’s mainly my mom and grandfather who found this out about my grandfather’s brother."

"My grandfather had a military family all of his three brothers went to Vietnam and Korea. He on the other hand couldn’t go due to him having polio as a young child and messing up his leg. My entire family knew about his brothers being in the military and going off to war and killing people. However, one of my grandfather’s brothers was ALWAYS traveling or gone on “vacation” (you may see where this is going)"

"This all happened when the guy was in his 20s - 30s and then he retired from the military. Going ahead 40+ years my whole family was sitting around the table during thanksgiving and having a good time. I wasn’t born yet so idk what happened specifically. My grandfather’s brother then stands up while everyone is eating and hits his glass with a spoon to get everyone’s attention. He then proceeded to tell everyone he was a spy for the CIA and how he would go on recon missions into Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, and MANY other places. He had just turned 75 which is the age when he is legally allowed to spread the information because most of the information would be of no use by then."

"The few times I met him he was a great guy with the nicest wife. He had the classic biker beard and really long hair. He has sadly since passed away along with my grandfather. His stories however still remain!"

– yougaygitrekt

The Disorder

"That my 'aunt' (My grandmother's cousin? ) acted differently because she was mentally handicapped due to some disorder caused by inbreeding. Her parents were Appalachians, her father was named Alpha Omega and he got caught banging his cousin behind a shed and the family made them get married. They had several disabled children."

"Edit: disorder was PKU. She and her siblings all had it, it is known to be an incest issue. The baby doesn't initially develop handicapped but becomes that way due to an amino acid building up in the body and causing brain damage. It is treatable now so the kids don't become disabled I think? Wasn't treatable back then."

– SincerelySasquatch


"My aunt and uncle were swingers and that’s why the couples living on either side of their house kept moving in, getting a divorce and moving out."

– Lifes_like_this

Blended Family

"Was part of a blended family, and found out my grandparents on my adoptive side were putting money away for my younger sister who was biologically related to them, but not me. I was adopted at 6 and my sister was born that year. They didn’t start saving for her until I was already 10, meaning I’d known them longer than my sister."

"They also would make a point to tell me how I was just as real family to them as anyone and blood didn’t matter. I found out when my parents got divorced at 18 that the whole time they were giving my sister money and not me."

"Gut punch."

– josiahpapaya

Tragic Past

"An uncle was an alcoholic who got into an accident and killed a family of four. He survived. He didn't serve a day in physical prison, but mentally, he was wrecked."

– Viker2000

You Never Know What Anyone Might Be Struggling With

"I always thought my Uncle was just naturally mean and didn't like us, in reality he was just in an unhappy marriage and took it out on everyone else. Since his divorce I still can't believe it is the same guy."

– Alert-Coconut6503

Reflecting back on our childhood can be difficult, but often healing.

We may realize the people in our lives were trying their best and we didn't see it at the time.

However, we cannot change the past.

We can only move forward with the knowledge we have now.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.