One Redditor asked: 'What's the most shocking secret someone has revealed to you?'
CW: addiction, death, abuse.
Everyone has secrets they'll take with them to their graves.
But some clandestine info is so hard to contain, that it can cause stress and anxiety until some of the pressure is alleviated.
You might be the person who was sworn to secrecy to share some of that burden.
But are you to be trusted to aid your secret-sharer in keeping their secrets?
Curious to hear from strangers online who have a tough time keeping some of the most jaw-dropping intel to themselves, Redditor HardDeep69420 asked:
"What's the most shocking secret someone has revealed to you?"
Knowing that a friend or family has suffered has haunted these Redditors.
A Painful Truth
"In the 70’s, my cousin died in a car crash that caught fire. I was very afraid that he was awake and felt the fire. My parents said he died immediately and didn’t suffer. My mother was on hospice at home in 2011. She told me the firemen were trying to open the doors and My cousin and the other teens were screaming for help when the cars caught fire. There were no survivors and my Aunt was never the same. It wasn’t until after his death that the jaws of life were distributed to our rural departments."
A Tough Call
"When I was 11 I had a friend reveal that her stepmother was abusing her... she made me promise not to say anything to my mom or any other adult. I agreed, we had weekly therapy sessions with a guidance counselor if you wanted it so it was my day to go and I just felt like I needed to tell… so I did. The counselor ended up reporting it and CPS got involved and my friend was made to live with her mother. She was so angry at me for telling but I felt it in my soul that I should. We are still friends to this day.. both of us 29 years old."
"Sometimes you have to decide between your friend and your friendship. It sounds like you made the right choice."
The Evil Of Addiction
"That he watched his son die of an overdose and didn’t do anything to help. He told me that his son had battled addictions for many years and that he had called an ambulance in the past when his son had overdosed, but that he thought it was better this time to 'just let him go since he made his choice.'"
The Ex And Her Health Issue
"I had an old girlfriend who was coming to Florida and wanted to hang out with me and my wife, she brought her mom, who I knew pretty well. A great dinner, drinks, fun stories, then when my ex went to the bathroom, the mom told me she (the ex) was dying of cancer. (I had No idea). It was sad, but yet felt so good she wanted to hang out. She died within a year. We were probably 35 years old at the time."
"You know..people will read this and grasp the sadness of the end but, on the other hand, your ex reached out and wanted to share some of her remaining time with you ..and your wife...clearly, your time together was special to her regardless of how it ended. You still had a warm place in her heart for you. That's actually quite awesome. I know you know that. Your wife is very lucky."
Life will never be the same after Redditors found out about these long-hidden family secrets.
What The Fork?!
"When I was 16, my Mom announced at dinner that her sister was coming for a visit next week. I dropped my fork and said 'YOU HAVE A SISTER?'”
"I had this: age 11 driving up to Scotland with my parents and we stopped off at a tiny town, walked into the big hotel, then got introduced to my uncle. My mum's brother. Hadn't existed before then and only came out of the woodwork because my grandpa died shortly before (they didn't get on). It was a weird shock but also an 'OK cool, life goes on' moment."
"I'm 56 now but at some point in my early 40s while driving with my dad he says 'you have a half brother somewhere.'"
"My dad pulled this sh*t on me when I went to my grandfather's celebration of life. Picked me up from the train station, asked me if I knew about his new wife (I did) and their daughter, born six years before my mom died of cancer (they never divorced). Then had the guts to follow it up with a request to FaceTime them that night because they wanted to meet me, because "[he] never kept his family a secret... from them." It took a while for me to get over that."
"I found out my mother and father were not divorced. He never existed. She had a one-night stand, found out she was pregnant, bought a wedding ring, changed her name, and told the family that she had gotten married. She made up excuses every time she went to my grandparent's house as to why her husband couldn’t also be there to meet them. On the 3rd visit, my grandfather told her never to wear that ring in his house again and when is the baby due? I’m 53."
Why The Nun Made Weekly Visits
"I found out my parents weren't married when I was 14, and my parents had a massive row after my dad was caught by the police with a sex worker. My mum blurted it out to me along with the reason why they were arguing. I'm 50. Up til then, they pretended.. when my Catholic secondary school asked for a marriage certificate as part of my screening for the school, they sent a letter to the priest confidentially... I still got in. Explains why from birth until 11, a Catholic nun would visit my parents every weekend, probably to ensure my soul was intact, lol."
Things get sinister.
A Murder Confession
"Casually dropped they’d killed someone then got really quiet about it. Like, sad quiet. Sounds like there was a case surrounding the ordeal but could never get them to talk about it more and I didn’t want to push."
Dodging A Bullet
"My ex casual dropped he killed someone also. He was a lot more loud about it when he was upset with me though. 'I’ve killed for less'. I know the whole story, or both of them. The one he tells people, and the one he told me. Either way. He’s a scary man, and I would never wish to be near him again."
One of the hardest positions to be in is when a friend tells you that they've cheated on their significant other, whom you also know.
This happened to me.
Keeping the privileged information was agonizing as I feigned ignorance whenever I hung out with the couple or with the person who had been cheated on.
Eventually, the pair broke up as the affair came to light through no involvement by me.
The truth always has a way of surfacing, after all.
Would you rely on that to happen, or would you intervene?
When is it okay to betray the person who entrusted you with their secret?
"Reddit user Throwyz asked: 'People who never went to their class reunions, why?'"
In movies and television, school reunions look like tons of fun.
Everybody attends and hilarity ensues.
But in real life, there is a lot of mystery surrounding these events.
Who plans them?
Who pays for them?
Why would anyone really go?
After decades start to pass, these people are really just strangers.
And it's also proof of aging.
Who needs other old people wandering around reminding you you're old?
Redditor Throwyz wanted to know why people chose to skip school reunions, so they asked:
"People who never went to their class reunions, why?"
My high school reunion was ok.
The sexy guys were still handsome.
That was all I cared about.
Who CaresI Dont Care Shrug GIF by Puss In BootsGiphy
"I don’t care about the people I went to school with."
"Same. Who cares. I stayed in touch with those I cared about. The end."
A Selective Process
"I keep in touch with the people from high school I want to keep in touch with. No need to go to a mediocre event and be judged by the others."
"Living in the age of Facebook everyone I care about from high school knows what's going on in their lives already. Anyone I actually want to interact with I already do."
"Didn't want to be there as a kid, so had no desire to return."
"This is the answer. I've skipped all of my class reunions and never regretted it."
"But one of my friends decided to go to a class reunion a few years back. He said it was amazing (or scary if you will) how quickly old group dynamics re-emerged, even 30-plus years later."
"The guys and gals who made up the 'in-crowd' back around 1988/89 had mainly peaked at 16. Everyone acted much more mature, obviously, but he said the whole affair got really cliquey really quick. Like I said, I never regretted not going."
"First of all, I wasn’t invited. I’m still as invisible to them as I was back then. Second of all, f**k those clowns."
"LOL, me too. I wasn't invited to the five-year reunion, and I still lived in the same town! I randomly worked with an old classmate, and she told me that the official list had me under 'could not find.' It was just so hilariously petty. I considered writing a note to suggest that they simply consult the local directory for my name but decided I didn't care enough."
Peaks and LowsI Know Right Mean Girls GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"I feel like reunions are for all the popular kids who peaked in high school who want to return to either gloat about how successful they are or to relive the 'good old days' if they weren’t."
The popular kids always have to show up and show out.
Even when their lives fall apart.
IrrelevantRomy And Micheles High School Reunion Interview GIFGiphy
"Are class reunions a thing in the time of social media? We can find out everything we want from everyone we ever met should we choose to do so."
"I stay in touch with my best buddies from high school and university, don't care enough about anyone else to make the effort of traveling for a reunion."
"This indeed. Half of this thread is people going 'f**k those guys.' I literally don't care. Hope they're doing well in a general sense but if I wanted a follow-up, I would've gone after it sooner. I can't be ar*ed."
"Exactly the same reason for me. If I was still local, I probably would have gone, but it was not worth traveling almost 1000 miles round trip."
"I was bullied, had my property vandalized repeatedly and permanently (my car was keyed to sh*t more than once), got in fights, had inappropriate comments made by teachers. Why the actual f**k would I travel out of state and pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket to be surrounded by those memories?"
Didn't Know Most Of Them Then
"I graduated with 450 people and I didn’t even know most of them then. I personally think class reunions are for people who want to brag about how much money they have or how great their kids are. Show off the new plastic surgery. Why the f**k would I go to something like that? Later losers!"
Never Look Back
"I hated HS, couldn't wait to get out, hated where I grew up, felt like a caged animal, and my life only got better after leaving there. Didn't look back and didn't want to look back. Now 55 and retired with lots of good years in front of me."
"This is relatable. Plus, I already know how all of those people from high school are doing-- they're all wasting away their lives in a shitty small town, still living out the same drama from 12 years ago. And I'd rather not hear all about their latest MLM bullsh**t. Enjoy your retirement!!"
"Millennial here graduated from HS in the mid-to-late 00s."
"I'm still close with a core group of friends from HS. Those I'm not friends with, but still cordial acquaintances with, I keep up with through Facebook, which I'm slowly trying to remove from my life aside from my Quest 2 and looking at cat pics and vids on Instagram."
"I wasn't very popular in high school. I have some great friends from then, but I was also relentlessly bullied. Seeing as I can keep up with the positive parts of my life from then via just talking to my friends, why go back to the people who bullied me? I don't think about them anymore, I'd rather live my life without communicating with them."
Decades PastAging Matt Damon GIFGiphy
"I haven’t spoken to a single person from my high school class in over 20 years. I never really liked many of them back then so I’m damn sure not wasting time going to a reunion. Also I never even got an invite."
As time passes, you care less.
Wish others well, but you don't have to know them forever.
When a co-worker or colleague gets fired, it naturally gets the rest of the office talking.
Namely, because everyone is immediately wondering why?
In some cases, the reason is no secret to anyone working there, and everyone knew it would only be a matter of time until this unfortunate individual got the sack.
Other times, someone's dismissal ends up taking everyone by surprise, and people begin speculating at the water cooler.
Most of the time, their gossip and conspiracy theories are way off, but in some rare occasions, they were spot on.
"Why was that one guy fired from your work?"
Sleeping On The Job Is One Thing...
"HVAC residential installer."
"Had a co-worker take a nap in the customer's house."
"In the customer's bed."
"Was confused why he was fired."- Wiggles349
That's Called Stealing...
"Work at a payroll company, we had an employee who Switched like 20 direct deposits to her own account."
"It was all very traceable and she was caught like later that day."- Familiar_Cow_5501
"Once worked at a big online retailer (Not amazon), we had 3 warehouses we shipped out of."
"One was smaller and only held one specific brand of item."
"The warehouse manager of that warehouse was fired and arrested at work."
"Turned out he was fulfilling orders printing labels with correct addresses, which would be emailed to the client."
"Then he would the next day do redirects through the Fedex system and assign new tracking numbers so the old ones wouldn't show final delivery address, just that it was changed."
"Everything got redirected to his house."
"He then was re-listing the same items on Ebay under a VERY similar company name to the one he actually worked for (not exact but changed the word World, to National)."- CoolHandRK1Stealing Mike D GIF by Beastie BoysGiphy
NOT Ready Player One...
"He spent the entire time playing a game on his own handheld console instead of testing the game we were doing overtime to actually test."
"Got very angry at being let go."- silverandstuffs
Violence Is Never The Answer
"He shouted, cursed at and invited the cleaning guy to 'meet him' outside to fight because he was denied access to the restroom until it was fully cleaned."
"The cleaning guy is known for being extremely calm, polite and nice to everyone."
"For someone to have a problem with him means that they have to be a certain kind of entitled a**hole."
"This happened in view of at least 10 co-wokers, me included."
"Everyone was confused, but our manager was proactive about it."
"He told the guy to meet him at the HR office, and was promptly fired."
"After the manager returned, he made a quick meeting."
"His words were: 'We're all grown adults here, well, some of us are'."
"'I just want to put it out there and say that I'll be considerably harsh to anyone that disrespects any coworker, specially when they're responsible for making sure that your a** cheeks sit on a clean toilet'."
"'Also, don't invite people to fight you if you're not willing to go through with it'."
"After the meeting was over, some of us asked him what he meant with that last sentence and he told us that the guy got violent in the HR office and invited him to fight in the parking lot when he was told he was getting terminated."- novato1995Season 1 Fighting GIF by GaslitGiphy
Oh No He Didn't!
"Stealing the boss's Pop Tarts."- MGris24
If Your Going To Lie, Always Cover Your Tracks...
"He claimed he was in the national search and rescue brigade which is entirely volunteer-based."
"They are sorta like our troops, they get perks and can't be fired if they get called out and so on."
"He skipped work all the time claiming it was because he was called in."
"One day someone from the office decided to check if he was and turned out he lied about the whole thing."
"I'm pretty sure he got blacklisted by the entire city which would explain why I haven't heard anything about him for years."- Lizzy_Of_Galtar
You'd Think He Would Have At Least Used Incognito Mode...
"Well, there *was* the new CFO who was shown the door at lunchtime on his first day."
"Then the stock email about 'Do not use the corporate internet to visit inappropriate websites' was sent out."- OldBob10
She Wasn't Even Working From Home!
"She watched Netflix at her desk and took naps."
"With the volume up."
"Her desk was in the middle of the office, there was no hiding."
"She also f*cked up a lot."- SuperstitiousPigeon5
Truth Is Often Stranger Than Fiction
"Worked at a publication."
"Hired a new guy who was super nice and everybody liked him."
"Within a week, found he was plagiarizing everything he wrote."
"Immediately gone - no questions asked."- phznmshr
Could He Have Possibly Been Bird Watching?
"He was keeping sick and injured birds under his desk that he found on his lunch breaks and using binoculars to watch people in other offices."- seanofkelleyBird Watching GIF by Team CocoGiphy
It's Not Private If It's On The Country's Dime...
"Using govt funds to see his mistress."- Acceptable-Result-47
Tragic On So Many Levels
"He was caught stealing cash from work, and spending it on sex workers."
"Turns out he had terminal cancer and wanted to go out with a bang."- Throwaway7219017
Up In The Air...
"Salesman addicted to frequent flier points."
"He'd book flights with four segments each way, meaning extra nights in hotels and basically doing almost no work two days a week."
"He was told repeatedly to book direct flights but just wouldn't."
"Two kids in college and the finally fired him."- mekonsrevengecheck in george clooney GIF by Paramount MoviesGiphy
There is often more behind someone's termination than what people hear.
Sometimes it's bad blood, sometimes it's criminal behavior, sometimes it's budget cuts.
Most of the time, though, people are just really, REALLY, bad at their jobs...
It takes one revelation about a person you know to suddenly have a completely different view of them.
A hidden talent, for example, can make you more impressed about a friend you had no clue could carry a tune.
Or someone who did an uncredited good deed can change your mind about them after you assumed they were the type of person who could care less about helping others.
But what happens if there's a sinister secret about a person you thought you knew coming to light?
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor Electrical-Lemon187 asked:
"What’s the most disturbing secret you’ve discovered about someone close to you?"
You think you know your family.
"The 24 hours before my dad died (stage 4 lung cancer) he was in the ER and then the ICU and we were unable to be with him because of hospital Covid rules. My mother, sister and myself had been texting and calling him all day and got no response. My mother even called the hospital and spoke with one of his ICU nurses who said he was awake and communicating fine. He passed very quickly at 3:30am the next morning. We were allowed to be at his bedside but by then he was no longer conscious so we said our goodbyes and he was gone. Later that morning while my mom slept I was calling cremation services to schedule his body for pick up at the hospital and going through his bag of belongings the hospital had returned to us. His phone was in there and I wanted to read all our texts and take some comfort in my last words to him."
"I opened his phone and all our texts had not been read, not mine or my mom and sister’s. I thought this was so odd but figured he must have been suffering so much he couldn’t find the strength. I began to scroll through his apps and noticed a chat app I’d vaguely heard of. I can’t recall the name but it essentially works like WhatsApp."
"I opened the app and saw a single contact with a female name. I started reading and realized my dad has been chatting with this girl hourly for the last 24 hours and as far back as I could scroll. He was calling her princess and telling her he loved her and she was saying she was scared for him and wanted to know what was going on, why was he in the ER, etc. I scrolled back enough to know that this was someone he was having at the very least, an emotional affair with."
"My grief was completely hijacked by hurt and anger and a week later I tracked the girl down and spoke to her (via dms) and found out she was 19 years old. She was 17 when they met. He was her high school bus driver and she told me they had been dating for almost 2 years."
"My dad was 66 years old when he died and dating someone younger than his grandchildren, someone he chose to spend his last moments with and say his last goodbyes to. I hope it made him happy but it sure is a sh**ty secret to live the rest of my life with. A secret that will forever overshadow my entire relationship with my dad with no chance to ever speak to him about it. It’s the one secret I wish I’d never found out."
"I don't know how disturbing this is; it turned out pretty fantastic for one. But not for another."
"I was adopted, and told a silly, magical story about my birth parents that most certainly did not seem true even when I was a child."
"At 57, I learned I was the result of a college affair between a very seriously Jewish young man and a very Baptist young woman. She was rushed off to a home for wayward girls to give birth. He followed her there (many states away), begging her to keep me and live a life together. But their families both said absolutely not. Jewish people were not viewed as 'white' in the mid-60s, and her family most certainly did not want her marrying a non-white. Plus, she was a very committed Christian and did not want to convert to Judaism."
"So off I went, into another family. I recently discovered three lovely half-siblings and we are all pro or semi-pro musicians and get along well. I never got to meet my mother; she died a year before I searched. My father is out of the picture and wants to be left alone. And I'm fine with that; I'm grateful for the love he gave me. It was enough."
"Endings to our searching are not always happy."
"Found a scrapbook of my mom and a guy I didn’t recognize from her immediately post-college days. Turns out he was a long term boyfriend of hers who killed himself when she broke up with him. My grandfather found his body. I learned at age 20, by finding the book/shrine to him."
You think you know your friends.
Crazy Best Friend
"She was my best friend of 7 years, we had literally been through it all together. I moved out of state with my now husband, but she convinced us both to move back to be closer with her, after about a year. We had no real ties to the state we had tried out, so we said screw it, let’s go back, she’s basically family. We were all so happy to be reunited; she was over almost every night for dinner, we all laughed and talked and had a blast. Best year of my life."
"Then slowly, she started trying to turn my husband and I against each other. Anytime we had an argument (like any couple does) she would text each of us about how right we were; trying to foster animosity between the two of us."
"With me, she started talking about how she had a plan b for 'us', that if my husband and I couldn’t make it work, I could move in with her and we’d live happy lives together."
"With my husband, she started talking about her infertility issues and how she wanted to have a kid just like him, she just needed a sperm donor."
"This all happened at around the same time, and my husband and I compared texts and figured it out."
"She wanted to take his sperm, and have a baby with me. When confronted about it she refused to admit anything and started lashing out at both of us. It got to the point where she would show up unannounced, banging on the door, demanding a place in our home. It was so terrifying and panic inducing that we ended up having to move and change our phone numbers."
"I guess it’s so disturbing because I had never had a friend like her, only to find out that she, well she cared about me, but in such an unhealthy and scary way. But yeah, that’s my story."
"Husband and I are great now btw."
His Fraudulent Degrees
"A work colleague appeared on the front page of a national newspaper for a life of fraudulent qualifications. He claimed medical and law degrees, was a brigadier in the army (reserves) and was the CEO for a major heath fund. He actually was a Brigadier in the army reserves but that and the heath fund role were largely built on the fraudulent qualifications and a progression of jobs also based on this claims. In reality, the only qualification he actually held was as a mortuary assistant. Not even his wife knew. The fraudulent degrees had been gained when he was in the army reserves recruiting and he had access to submitted position applications. He came undone when he applied for a government job and some flags were raised by the recruitment people. He tried to withdraw the application but didn’t realise that an application for a government role has the same weight as a statutory declaration and cannot be withdrawn. It all went south very quickly and he ended up doing jail time."
You never truly know everything about people–even those who are closest to you.
They say ignorance is bliss, and that applies to many of examples provided by Redditors.
But if you were in their shoes, and depending on the circumstances, would you rather know the deepest and darkest secrets about those you care about?
There are plenty of backstabbers and those who are purported "friends" throwing you under the bus to save their reputation.
Who knows what else is being said about you behind your back? Is that paranoia? Perhaps.
When we're feeling insecure, we tend to assume the worst about the people we include in our circle. Maybe it's time to stop that.
Because as it turns out, for the most part, people are kinder than we give them credit for, and not everything being discussed about you behind your back are always bad.
Curious to hear examples in which strangers online have been pleasantly surprised, Redditor El_patronus asked:
"What's the most kind/beautiful thing you've overheard about yourself by accident?"
We all strive to do better, be good people.
It appears some people, like in the examples below, have already achieved that goal.
"Not me, but my daughter."
"We used to live next door to a couple that was a 'triage' foster family: when law enforcement had to remove kids from a home, theirs was on the short list of approved foster homes to place the kids in right away. My daughter was in elementary school at the time, and she would go out of her way to introduce herself to the kids and take time to play with them. Several groups of kids came and went before we moved to another state."
"Several months after we moved, we were in town visiting, and bumped into the mom of one of my daughter's classmates. This mom is a child psychologist and she said, 'I just wanted you to know- I work a lot with the kids in foster care. And I kept hearing different kids talk about their friend <daughter's name>. I looked at these kids' paperwork and saw they had been placed in a home next door to where you all lived. It dawned on me that they were talking about your daughter. Just so you know, she made a lot of difference in helping these kids recover from their trauma."
"Kiddo is a freshman in high school, now, and still looks to help others."
"Once at college I was hanging out with a couple of friends in an art class, and right after I left I heard one turn to the other and say 'he is such a nice guy', and the other girl replied with an enthusiastic 'I know! He really is' People complimenting you behind your back is, in my opinion, the best form of compliment."
"A few months ago, I was hanging out with a girl one day who was showing interest in me, and I was kinda on board myself. I accidentally saw that she had posted about me in her group chat, and it was something along the lines of 'This is the kinda guy I want.'"
"Even better, her friend, who also happened to be my coworker, responded to that by saying, 'He's honestly so nice.' This made me feel even better because I honestly thought that girl couldn't stand me."
"It gave me a giant, giant boost of confidence."
"My wife's family said I was the rock in their family."
These Redditors were heard compliments that made their day.
"i'm a longtime drummer. been playing in bands for over 20 years. recently just joined a new band and after our first gig together, i overheard the singer talking with someone about the set and sound of the new lineup. the singer was saying that i'm a 'born drummer. this guy was totally meant to play drums. i'm so stoked he's in my band.' probably the coolest thing i accidentally overheard about myself."
"Several weeks ago I overheard the technician of the neighboring lab telling some fellow grad students 'she knows so much, I am astonished'. I'm still hyped up about it."
A Teacher's Advice
"I teach middle school, and I try to intentionally say something positive about a student when he/she thinks I don’t know they’re nearby. The change in a kid’s whole attitude is remarkable. Even kids who seem pretty self confident get a boost, but the kids who are struggling... it really makes a huge difference."
"At a party I overheard my SO bragging to the others about my pasta and my cooking in general, like they should be jealous he gets to eat my food regularly."
"It made me happy. I know he likes my cooking, but him telling others about it when I'm not in the room was a big confidence boost."
It pays to employ nice people.
"I worked in a call center for a while and we weren't meant to hang up first (the system saw calls where we hung up as fishy and would need to be reviewed, so they messed up our stats) and one day after setting a lady up with a cheaper than subscription she didn't hang up properly and I heard her say 'that lady was really lovely!'"
"I had to go away from the calls for a minute cus it made me really emotional. That job was tough so it was nice to see I wasn't becoming a d*ck."
"I work in a call center for a cable company. It's hell. We're told we can't give people promotions, just drop their tv packages down... it's hell. I hate not being able to help people, and then we can see our after call surveys which have all been full of negative comments about the prices. Yesterday, I got one back that said I was super nice and helpful and the company needs to hire more people like me. I almost cried."
"I was visiting my old workplace after leaving a couple years prior. As I was walking away from on old employee, I overheard a new person ask who I was. She replied 'That’s guamie, he is the reason I was able to become a manager.'”
"I am an HR Manager by trade...that almost made me cry on the spot."
They say if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say it.
But it would nice if people actually verbalized the positive things they thought about a person.
You never know what kind of day someone is having, and giving them a nice compliment can really make them feel special when they least expect it.
That being said, overhearing people praising you has got to be one of the greatest affirmations that you're doing alright and that you make a good impression on others just by being you.