People Share The Things They Aren't Supposed To Know About Their Parents

Ashley Hunte
Two parents sitting with their small children.
Unsplash | John-Mark Smith

For many of us, we tend to see our parents as these near-perfect people. But there are a lot of things parents try to keep from their kids, for better or for worse.

Getting older means learning secrets about your parents that may have never been meant for your ears. But as the people of Reddit prove, not every secret stays secret forever.

Nothing hurts more than knowing you're unwanted.

Two people sitting on a couch, visibly upset.
Unsplash | Ben White

"As a teenager I moved in with my mom after not living with her for most of my life and fighting to be a part of hers. One night I heard her and my stepdad talking about how the only reason they let me live there was for the tax credits and child support."

At least it worked out in the end?

Two wedding bands resting on a lacy surface.
Unsplash | Sandy Millar

"My mom didn't marry my dad because she was in love with him, she chose him when the man she was in love with told her he couldn't marry a woman who already had another man's child and my dad had no problem with stepkids.

She did eventually fall in love with him for what it's worth."

A deal's a deal, until it isn't.

A person holding their graduation cap.
Unsplash | RUT MIIT

"My mother and father had a deal that my father would get a job, so my mom could finish college, and then my mom would get a job, so my dad could finish college.

My father did his part and when it was his time to go back to college, my mom and all her family humiliated him into going back to work."

Good intentions, but still a bad lie.

A guy sitting on a couch as if upset.
Unsplash | Christian Erfurt

"Well, for the first 16 years of my life I thought that my father had died in an accident. Turns out he just didn't care about me and my mom was trying to make 4-year-old me feel better because she didn't want me to think it was my fault."

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Two people pointing at each other as if arguing.
Unsplash | Afif Kusuma

"As a young kid I overheard my parents screaming in another room about what age I was when my dad left us. Mom said 3 months. Dad said 3 years. I didn’t know he left at all."

Okay but this is actually a super cool secret.

Several packets of birth control pills.
Unsplash | Simone van der Koelen

"I’m old. When the pill came out women needed permission from their husbands before doctors would prescribe it. My mom was friends with a local family doctor and got him to prescribe it for her friends.

Then they kept the pills at our house so their husbands wouldn’t find out. Every morning they’d stop by for 'coffee' which was really just them coming to take the pill."

"My siblings and I wondered why so many neighbors stopped by every single day."

Several cups of espresso with hearts drawn into them.
Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

"We didn’t find out until years later when one thanked us for never telling their husband. A few questions later and we knew what she meant. We immediately told our father thinking he was going to be stunned. Nope. He was in on it the whole time."

"He co-signed mortgages and helped open bank accounts for divorced women they knew."

Three people holding their various coffee cups together.
Unsplash | Nathan Dumlao

"Turns out our stay-at-home mom and workaholic dad were pretty badass and we had no idea.

Now it's not something we shouldn’t know but there was a time we were sitting on a huge secret but had no idea. We could have blown up a lot of lives just talking about someone stopping by for coffee every day."

Divorce is hard in a lot of ways that kids might not get at the time.

The inside of an empty church.
Unsplash | Karl Fredrickson

"That we stopped going to church when we were around 10 because my parents divorced. They kicked us out because it wasn't Christian. This was after three generations of attending every service, bible camp, and function."

"My mom tried taking us to a few different churches but they were not friendly to single mothers."

A person stepping on a soccer ball.
Unsplash | Connor Coyne

"We were kids and just didn't realize we hadn't been attending and had started getting into sports and activities instead."

"We were cut off from a lot of family and lifelong friends."

Two people reaching out to one another.
Unsplash | Hanna Morris

"My mother was superhero for going from a stay at home mom with three kids and a supportive community and family to a single working mom doing all she could."

There's a lot going on here...

A woman slowly descending into a facepalm.
Giphy | HULU

"My dad cheated on my step-mom with my mom after my parents divorced.

My step-sister thinks I am delusional because she is convinced that when my dad says 'ex-sex is a freebie' it's 'just some biker joke' (per her actual mom, a former prostitute)."

Never go through things in your parents' room.

A seemingly empty white box atop a table.
Unsplash | Kelli McClintock

"When I was 16ish, we were moving house and packing things up. We had moved to their room and started cleaning. Opened a small box and found their adult toys. I did not need to know that, at all."

You really don't understand certain things until you get older.

A woman sitting on a couch in a dark room.
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

"My father sold drugs for a living, and my mother was a junkie. So many things make sense now looking back at certain events as a child. I'm not proud of where I came from."

If only all of our parents' secrets were this wholesome.

A person reaching out with several crumpled bills.
Unsplash | Christian Dubovan

"Few month ago I unexpectedly got to know that my father anonymously donated significant amount of money to charity. Mostly as a direct help to children who needed expensive meds.

I'm pretty sure nobody knows about this. None of our family, none of his friends, none of the families he helped."

It's tough when you find things like this at home.

Two wedding bands resting on a dark surface.
Unsplash | Zoriana Stakhniv

"My parents divorced when I was 3. My mother had custody of my sister and I. My mother loved to verbally bash him to us. She would tell us he never once paid child support. Life was hard for a long time."

"I was 15 and cleaning out a closet and found every child support cheque uncashed."

Stacks of letters and documents.
Unsplash | Alexander Grey

"She hated him so much she refused to take his money. I cried and put them back. All I could think about was being about 5-6 and being so hungry. I have never asked either of them about it."

Telling the truth would've been a lot easier, I think.

A still-burning cigarette resting on a railing.
Unsplash | Andres Siimon

"My mother once gaslit me because I saw her smoking. She convinced me I was wrong and made everyone think I was a liar. I was 5. I found it recently I wasn't wrong, I did see her smoking. She was ashamed so hid it from everyone."

It sounds like it was a difficult situation.

A line of empty hospital beds.
Unsplash | Adhy Savala

"My mom had a breakdown and was admitted to the psych ward for a few days when I was about 5. My dad was too distraught to take care of me and my 7-year-old and 14-year-old sisters..."

" my oldest sis took it upon herself to feed us, tuck us in, and entertain us during that time."

Two siblings sitting and watching television together.
Unsplash | Josue Michel

"I remember my sis taking care of us for a while then, but had no idea why until my sisters told me about it when I was an adult. My parents have never talked about it."