Everyone has a secret or two they’re hiding from their friends and families. The reasons are endless. But whether it be hilarious twists or dark undertones, these are some secrets worth keeping close.
My grandmother recently passed. She was famous in our town for her amazing cooking and catering, particularly her turkey dinners. Notably, her gravy was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, she had a heart attack several years ago and the bad experience convinced her to share some of her secret recipes with me, all except for her gravy recipe. It wasn't until she passed that I learned her secret.
When we lost her this spring, I was going through her pantry and found an entire bucket of KFC gravy mix. She was literally using KFC gravy mix as a base to make her incredible gravy. Huge scandal!
My stepmother is making my dad take anti-depressants without him knowing. She lies about it and tells him it's cholesterol medication. She does this because she likes my dad better when he's on them, but he doesn't want to take them. She and I are the only people that know. I think it's so messed up. I've been contemplating telling someone, but honestly, she scares me.
Not too big of a secret, but I never want my family to find out that I am the one in the family who draws little smiley faces in random spots for everyone to find.
Everyone always accuses each other and of course, I play along, but in reality, I’m the one driving them crazy with the drawings.
Sometimes I scroll around on Zillow looking at cheap homes in other parts of the country, wondering what it would be like to just disappear, change my name and live out the rest of my life there. It often feels pretty good to imagine, though I'd never abandon my family and I highly doubt the reality would live up to my fantasy. I can't imagine what they'd say if they knew. But still, I can't help but think: maybe one day...
When my paternal grandfather passed, the federal government reached out to do a state funeral. He'd been a career army guy and a colonel, so we didn't question it. Then the funeral came and they went all out! It was absolutely insane. A huge procession, people showing up who are really big names, like heads of departments, senators, retired senators, people from the CIA and State Dept, it was nuts and we were all super confused.
Turns out he was a key dude in the OSI during WWII and when the OSI splintered into the CIA and Secret Service, he went the Secret Service route. He wasn't on White House detail but instead worked in a covert office that dealt with counterfeiting and currency. He went blind when I was a toddler and retired from 'the Army' for whatever reason.
He told no one about all his covert work with the OSI and Secret Service and the only person who knew (my grandmother) was sworn to secrecy and never told anyone. My father grew up thinking he was just a colonel working on a base. Only after he passed were we given all sorts of cool stuff like publications by him, lectures given by him, and all kinds of things from various things he did and was known for. All I knew him as was a blind old man. Turns out he was super cool and all, but none of us knew, and it makes me kinda sad.
My mom sent me to her friend's house to mow her lawn. She can never find out what we did. When I was finished, her friend invited me in for a drink. It was a hot day, so of course I said yes. One thing led to another and we hooked up. And my mom wonders why I've never been back to mow her lawn again...
Family legend, my grandfather and grandmother fell in love at first sight and courted one another for years before getting married.
In reality, they met when my grandfather was on a two-day pass, fell in love at first sight, and were married by the end of the weekend. Both corroborated this story in separate private interviews I conducted when compiling a family history.
My secret is that I really hate my dad.
My dad pretty clearly never wanted the responsibility of raising kids and has been remarried twice now. You could tell he never wanted to spend his free time with either me or my sister and just wanted to be there for the good times. He'd verbally chastise me for not being interested in doing the stuff he wanted me to be interested in, like sports.
It made my life a nightmare. I had some emotional problems that kept me from doing well in school, and I'd get yelled at for bad grades, or anything that would cause him to have to take time to be a parent.
I moved out at 19 and a lot of the stress in my life at the time disappeared because I didn't have to see him all the time. I started visiting less and less and noticed when I did come around all he did was complain about my sister or the current wife's kid being a drain on him. He wasn't ever really concerned about me anymore. We'd still get together a few times a year for holidays and stuff, but I'd find myself dreading visits because he'd always try to emotionally manipulate me so I'd feel bad about not coming around more often.
I tried to get a bit more involved with him after a few years, but he'd always have some excuse for why he couldn't spend time with me, even though he's retired and doesn't have much of a schedule anymore. But what he did recently was the last straw.
My wife got into a little argument with him via text last summer and I found out from my sister that he thinks my wife and I are "overreacting" to the awful things he said. Even though it wasn't anything major, he's still yet to apologize to my wife.
I am hopeful that the next time we move, I won't send him my new address and I can just sever ties completely.
Most days I feel like I don’t know who I am. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression at around 15 years old. I feel like I never got to develop a personality. I’ve never been able to hold down a job for more than a few months due to my mental health. Sometimes I feel okay, but most of the time I just feel like three illnesses in a trench coat trying to find my way through life.
I have kept a lot of secrets about my marriage to my late husband. I didn't tell anyone when he was alive about how he'd scream and curse at me. After he passed, I found mountains of evidence of his unfaithfulness, and I still didn't tell anyone. I could never figure out where all our money was going and he would rage until I quit asking...turns out it was going to other women.
I loved our marriage most days and had no idea about the infidelity until after he was gone. But I know the truth would kill his family. He was a good guy overall, even if tormented, and I don't want to taint the memories people hold of him.
He's been gone for a few months now and I haven't told my family that I'm dating again. I know they would understand if I told them about the reality of my marriage, but I feel too much loyalty to him to reveal the truth about him.
I've hated and doubted my family's religion for five years straight. Not going to go into greater detail because I’m already getting paranoid just saying that. I am constantly worrying that one of my friends will tell my parents or one of my teachers. I can't even tell half of my friends because they are part of the church and I can assure you they will tell somebody, and I'll be forced to go to some sort of faith rehab. And yes, I'm not even exaggerating. Look it up.
My secret is that I tormented this girl so much just because I was jealous of her and her life. It haunts me. She eventually reported me and I was scared to get called out again so I stopped and genuinely tried to be friends with her. She forgave me and now we’re best friends. But I still regret that I ever became that kind of person.
My secret is a terminal illness. Chances are I have less than 10 years but it could be tomorrow. No cure, and no chance of recovery. There may be a point before too long where I am unable to hide it but some of my family members are old so they might pass before that happens. I'm happy to keep it quiet for their piece of mind as long as possible.
A part of me will always resent my stepmother, half brothers, and my dad for remarrying. My mom passed from cancer when I was 14 (23 now) and she had been fighting it for 19 years at that point. My dad has always been an amazing parent. My stepmom is nice and cares for me and my sister even though we aren’t hers; she’s my “stepmom” in name only.
We have an unspoken agreement that I don’t want her to be my mom and she doesn’t want to be either, and we’re fine with that. I love my brothers and they’re great, but still too young to really understand the whole situation with the family. I shouldn’t have any reason to be bitter because they’ve never done anything bad to me. But I can’t help but feel like my mom is just being pushed into memory and that I’m the only one missing her every day. I know it’s not true but it’s hard.
When I was five, I let out my sister's hamster Scamps to play. It was an enormous mistake. He crawled off and was found in a mouse trap a few weeks later. Everyone thought it escaped its cage on its own. Best to let them believe that.
My secret is that when my parents paid for me to go abroad at 19 (my first time flying alone and first time traveling out of the country), it wasn't to see a friend I had met in college. Instead, I had met a dude online and flew out to meet him about a month and a half later.
It's not the smartest thing I've done, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I only tell my family the good things. Since I hit rock bottom in 2017. I've made sure they only see that I'm doing better. When they moved me back home with them was the only time they fully knew what was going on in my life since maybe before high school. I know I can tell them anything, and they will love and support me, so I don't know why I do this.
Don't get me wrong, I am doing well, and I'm happy. They just don't know that I'm one paycheck away from genuinely struggling right now. All my family needs to see is that I'm back in school studying something that will allow me to be financially stable eventually and that I'm doing well in my new position related to that field.
I am a very unsympathetic person toward my friends and family. I feel like I just put on a good act toward all of them. When people are telling me about their day or what's happened recently, I genuinely don't have any interest in it. I struggle a lot with keeping in contact with people over time. It has led to the end of very good friendships just because I have no interest in contacting them or checking their social media and interacting with them.
I feel extremely guilty for it. I feel like I am being a horrible person, but I am just distanced from a lot of people by nature. I guess I'm just more fixated on my life than other people's.
My mom is married to another guy while still married to my father and I'm the only one in the family who knows this.
I have blips of repressed memories that I know are bad, whether I did something or it was done to me. I've always refused therapy because I'm genuinely scared of digging it up and finding out, and how embarrassed my family might be about what it is. It's got to be back there for a reason, and I really don't want to poke around and find out.
My secret is that my parents "had" to get married. They always told us they got married in 1961, but it was 1962, 3 months before my sister was born. What's amusing is that my father was an accountant who was insanely fast with math. Whenever he was asked how many years they'd been married, he'd be off by one. My mother would correct him through clenched teeth, and then my father would nod and agree.
My secret is that I quit college and dropped out. This is a huge deal since I was in college for three years, and now every day is beyond terrifying to me because with each passing day, my future is getting closer and I don't know if it's going to be okay.
My dad always thought his father who raised him wasn’t his bio-dad and the father thought the same. He was treated terribly by his father because the father was told he couldn’t have children and my father was born prematurely (but at a healthy weight). So, everyone assumed my grandmother had an affair and got pregnant with my dad. It was to the point that after my grandmother passed, my grandfather failed to even mention to his new wife that he had a son and grandchild (me).
Years later, my dad gets an AncestryDNA test for him and me. He finds out that his dad was actually his bio-dad. It was shocking and sad.
My uncle served in Vietnam. While over there his troop found a baby that had been orphaned or abandoned, they weren't sure. My uncle was shipping back to Australia soon and wanted to adopt him, but my aunt said no (they'd only been married about 4 months when he was drafted, so while I don't agree with my aunt's actions and generally don't like her as a person, I can understand why she said no). My uncle's troop found a family to raise the baby, and that's the story the whole family knows.
The secret is that my uncle and some other guys from his troop stayed in contact with the family and the kid, sending them money every month to help raise him and then to help him go to university and eventually helped him and his adoptive family move to Australia in the last 90s. My aunt and the rest of my family had no idea all this time, it only came out when my aunt and uncle divorced in 2017 and she had a forensic accountant go through their bank records. She worked at a bank for like 40 years and always noticed money missing, but his reasons were always justified.
My aging mother is battling cancer. She isn't winning. She has asked me to be the power of attorney and the executor of her estate. While going through her legal papers, I came across the documents that made my stomach drop. They showed that my sister (we are both in our 50s) is actually only my half-sister. She has a different father. My mom never told anyone.
My father has been gone for almost 20 years, and he never said anything either. He stepped up when the real father took off (this was in the 1960s). My sister doesn't know.
My secret is that I just stopped going to work a month and a half ago. I've been telling them I'm sick while just going full-on agoraphobe. The bills are going to become a problem soon, but I can't work up the motivation to leave my house yet, and I haven't talked to anyone about it. Not sure why, I don’t know what my long-term plan here is, but I’m definitely not ready to tell anyone.
My grandma didn't drive. I thought she couldn't, but it was never discussed.
One day when I was maybe seven, I'd been trying to get someone to drive me to the store for candy. We were visiting my aunt and uncle, and my grandma lived with them. They had Bit-O-Honey at the local store, which I could no longer get at home. But no one would take me to the store.
Finally, I said I'd just ask grandma, and my cousin chimes in with, "Grandma can't drive".
"Oh, you bet I can drive, they just don't let me". Grandma had overheard.
But that's all that was said about it, and my aunt finally took me to the store, so I forgot about it. When the truth finally came out, I wasn't prepared for the wild story.
Years later, when I'd just gotten my license, I asked my mom what was up with Grandma not driving. She explained that during prohibition grandma boot-legged for moonshiners. She was very successful at it. She was so successful at it that when the moonshiners were finally busted, even though the revenuers never caught my grandma, her license was suspended by the state "to never be reissued".
Later in life, she was told she could petition for it back, but it came with an admission of guilt or some such so she refused.
My mother had a child when she was a teenager, and she had given him up for adoption to a family. After this, she went to college, got her degree, married my father, and gave birth to my four siblings and me. 30 years after giving her child up for adoption, I remember her getting a phone call and immediately locking herself in her room. I was about 12 at the time, but I can still hear the sound of her crying. I remember feeling scared because she obviously didn’t want to see anybody or talk about why she was crying.
On an evening later that week, my parents sat each of us kids down and told us about my mom’s past and explained that my half-brother had reached out to my mom wanting to meet her and get to know her. My dad had known about him ever since he and mom were dating in college, and I believe my oldest sister had been told previous to this point. But the rest of my siblings and all of our in-laws on my dad's side didn’t know about mom’s past. We are fairly religious, so it was shocking at first.
My mom then flew out to the state where my half-brother lived and met him. Both my mom and my half-brother were both very nervous about the whole thing, but by the end of their trip meeting each other, they got to rebuild a relationship. After a bit of time, we (my siblings and I) got to meet him too.
Fast forwarding to now, he’s since moved to our same state and we see him much more frequently. He’s in all of our family pictures, we see him occasionally for holidays and birthdays, and we all see him as part of our family. We’re a very close-knit and extroverted family, while he is on the shy side, so at times he can be a bit more distant than we would like, but we give him his space. I know my mom stays in close touch with him, and we love it when he’s able to make it for family dinners and whatnot.
Back then, I was the youngest and the only boy in my family, so I loved learning that I had an older brother. Now that I’m an adult, I sometimes get his old clothes because were roughly the same size. He’s got good taste too so I really lucked out. I love that this family secret was spilled and that we were able to welcome my brother into our family and have him in our lives.
My secret is that I am the one leaving bottles on my grandma and grandpa's grave every time I’m back in their country. I know the family members still wonder who does that, they've discussed it in front of me. I started doing it at 13 when she passed. They used to enjoy drinks together and it was the sweetest thing I remember about them both.
I’m secretly still in love with someone who doesn’t want anything to do with me, who told me I couldn’t be in her life anymore after 4 years together, and yet was still in love with me. At least that’s what she told me in November. It’s been over a year since I last held her, and yet I still miss her with all my being. She was the woman who gave me meaning. It sounds pathetic, but I truly gave her and our relationship everything I had left in me, and without her, there isn’t anything left for me when the days come and go.
I don’t need pity or advice; this is my choice. She was and will always be the woman I loved more than any other before her.
My secret is I can’t remember huge chunks of my life.
I developed epilepsy as an adult, I have a family history of early-onset Alzheimer’s/Dementia and have intense intracranial pressure issues that I’m working to mitigate.
I’ve forgotten what every single one of my old apartments looks like. I’ve forgotten my wedding day. My wife would be devastated if she knew. I’ve forgotten about my hobbies before college, and I can barely remember anyone from high school that I’m not still close with, and nobody before that.
My company switched ownership years back, I feel like I can’t learn anyone’s name. My dates are constantly out of sync, I can’t remember how long-ago things happened, or how long I’ve been doing things. I’ve forgotten entirely how to do several lab tests, use certain pieces of equipment, or handle software that I don’t use constantly. I spend so much time retraining and refreshing: some things click back, and I remember clearly, while others feel like I never learned them in the first place. I’ve sat through entire presentations I made and don’t remember until I read a paragraph that sounds like I wrote it.
Every time I go to look for new movies or TV shows to watch, it turns out I’ve already watched them on my profile and don’t remember them. I can’t focus enough to read novels anymore; I constantly forget what I’ve already read if I don’t marathon it in one weekend.
My paternal grandparents both passed in their sixties, my grandfather being unable to recognize anyone and my grandmother being able to recognize me but not my cousins or their own children. I’m probably going to wind up the same. I’m experiencing symptoms of Sundowning, but my neurologist is struggling to mitigate it between my age of only 33 and the fistful of meds I’m already on not to have seizures.
I’m making videos once a week to talk about things going on in life. I figure I’ll watch them occasionally and hopefully remember who I am later when things get worse. But hopefully, that’s a problem for another time.
I still think about the one who got away even though I am happily married.
His name was Sidney. We met by chance as teenagers in a state neither of us was from. We stayed in regular contact for a decade, and both grappled with depression, break-ups and just growing up. Like any teenage friendship, it ebbed and flowed from talking all the time to a few months of just a few texts.
In my mid-20s I had a heartbreak (someone else) and Sidney was there for me as a friend to talk to since we still lived apart. After months of daily texting and phones and FaceTime, he told me he wanted to be more than friends and asked to buy me a plane ticket to see him. He planned and paid for the whole trip bought concert tickets and planned a party with his friends and brothers to introduce me to them, took me to Santa Monica Pier, and we spent a night in a Venice beach hotel.
It sounds like a teen romance movie script, but it was so incredibly awkward. The second he pulled up to the airport, I knew something was off. Suddenly the person I knew for a decade was gone and this quiet other guy was sitting next to me, still to this day the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. Was he shy? Disappointed? Let down somehow?
It’s painful to think about even now 5 years later. Feeling so close to him emotionally and having him as a distant, but constant, person in my life to becoming a complete stranger in person just destroyed me.
In the years since then, I’ve looked him up and seen who he is with now and compared myself. It’s so petty and dumb but I feel so ugly knowing he and I had such a long-standing friendship and as soon as he saw me again in person he was repelled. I have no idea what I did that was so repulsive to him. I wonder a lot about what his girlfriend is like to be good enough. She must be lovely because I still feel hurt, confused, and unlovable because of my relationship with him.
I know a secret. My mom cheated on my dad with my now stepfather. My parents divorced when I was really young, so I don't remember anything about that. When I would ask as a curious kid why they split up, they both said that they just fell out of love. I already had a feeling that this was not true because through my grandma I knew the divorce was in 1996, but my mom and stepfather started dating in 1995. On my 18th birthday, my stepfather confessed to me in private that they had an affair all that time ago and he still feels awful, because he feels like he broke my family. I told him that all is fine because everyone is happy now and I already kind of knew it. But I still didn't know the whole truth.
Some years later my stepmother told me that my mom actually kicked out my dad without telling him why. She just "needed a break". My dad later found out through the landlord that my stepfather had moved in. To this day I don't know how my dad managed to overcome this without starting a huge fight. I never talked with my parents about it. Just once when my mom was having a rant about a neighbor who left her husband for another man, I told her to stop throwing rocks while sitting in a glass house. I hope you know what this saying means. She definitely does.
My grandad was born out of wedlock and was raised by his auntie who already had two daughters. His real mom had to live in the same house as her son and pretend she was his aunt. The family has always had suspicions, but it wasn't confirmed until my grandad was 72, at which point all the family that knew the truth had passed.
My mom’s side of the family are all farmers. On one particularly dry summer, we were playing around with fireworks in a pasture and accidentally lit it on fire. Luckily there was an industrial hose attached to the well nearby, and we were able to turn it on and douse the flames before it got out of control.
We didn’t tell anyone until 10 years later when it came out to my parents and my aunt and uncle. My uncle, who farmed the land, burst out laughing and told us that it must’ve been not long after that he was at that property and obviously noticed the burned grass and askew hose. He put two and two together but didn’t say anything because he figured kids were being kids, and we probably learned our lesson.
My very catholic grandma and her very catholic brother both had multiple children with their spouses which included, by random chance, one gay son each. But their being gay was a secret in each family and was never spoken about. My family always suspected the cousin was gay but never said anything for fear of outing them.
My grandma was sure her brother would have a problem with his son being gay. Her brother was sure she would have a problem with her son being gay. One day when they were in their 30s, the secret broke with the brother confronting sister, "I need to tell you we think your son is gay". She said, "oh, of course, we've known for decades, and I hate to be the one to tell you, but you know your son is gay too right?" He replied, "oh yeah we've always known".
Turns out nobody in my very catholic family had any issues with accepting them and everyone is supportive and keeping secrets for no reason. I just always thought it was funny they hid something everyone already knew for like 25 years.
Ever since I was young, my grandmother on my mom’s side would always behave strangely at dinner. If you were looking at a dinner menu, she would see what entree you were looking at and say, “wow that sounds good, can I split that with you”?
Same thing with appetizers, drinks, literally everything. “Hey want to try my soda”? It always struck me as odd and somewhat annoying because I don’t like splitting food. She would creepily watch as you ate your food and didn’t take a bite of hers until you swallowed yours.
She became estranged from my family several years ago for a multitude of reasons (gambling, asking for money, harassment, and her overall history with my mom when she was growing up). I then asked my mom why my grandma always behaves so strangely at dinner. The reason was shocking. Well turns out my grandma is constantly paranoid that her food will be poisoned. Like, cripplingly so. She refuses to take a bite of food or drink until someone else “tested” it first.
It creeps me out to think that she theoretically thought the food was poisoned and had me try it to make sure it wasn’t. Waiting intently to make sure I didn’t pass out or have some sort of reaction after taking a bite. Love you too Grandma!
I'm dating a trans man. My family hates him because of that. They've told me that if I keep going with him, they'll basically disown me. The funny thing is though, we're secretly engaged! As soon as I move in, I'm telling them that I'll never have anything to do with them again. I can't be more excited about it!
I'm Muslim. Everyone thinks I am this devout Christian girl. My mom said if I became Muslim she would blow up and ruin everything. So, I’m waiting until I go to university in September to fully practice my religion. I pray in secret when I can.
Not really disturbing, and also not a secret from my friends, just my family, but I don’t plan on coming back or maintaining the kind of relationship they expect me to when I move out, and they somehow don’t have a clue.
My mental health is so much better now and I actually feel like myself when I’m away from them, and I don’t really have a good reason to keep living with my mom or even nearby after this semester. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get a scholarship that will allow me to transfer to a college on the other side of the state and after I graduate I hope to move at least a couple of states away.
I don’t plan on completely cutting them off, but I’m not going to miss everyone a ton like they are expecting me to. Nor am I going to call my mom or dad every chance I get like my brother does. I’ll probably only come home for Christmas, maybe, or for unavoidable emergencies of course. I know if I say anything I’ll just be told I’m ungrateful and after 20 years I simply don’t have the energy anymore. Five more months and I’m out, hopefully forever. Maybe when I’m actually on my own I’ll feel differently, but for now, I’m (literally) counting down the days.
As a bored kid during a hot summer, I went on an egg massacre. I took a carton of eggs from a neighbor's fridge and smashed them on anything my fickle mind wanted to. I even hid behind some tall bushes, launched a few onto the main road, and hit a couple of cars. My brother only knows this, we never spoke of it again after growing up.
Apparently, my great-grandmother was a baby seller.
I say seller, but it was more of an underground adoption scheme. She would arrange to move babies from poor families who couldn’t afford to take care of them and sell them to rich but infertile couples for a tidy profit. That's all I managed to wrangle from my grandma. Insane!
Just learned a new secret, turns out my grandma had a baby as a teenager and was forced to give him up for adoption by my great-grandparents. 40 years later he found us. Guess I’ve got a new family member.
I know a secret about my grandmother. She ran a very successful catering business, that I even helped with it. Yet it wasn't until I was an adult that I discovered that she only made about 30% of the food from scratch.
She was known for her rolls and even had people beg her for the recipe. She gave them one and they always were sad about them not turning out like hers. Which they wouldn't because the recipe was fake. In reality, she found the recipe in a random cookbook, and her rolls were brought out of the freezer section at the local grocery store.
My secret is that the "argument" I had with my "friend" was actually the first breakup in my first and only relationship with a woman. I'm a woman too. I couldn't express what really happened because my family is so conservative. I felt so isolated and lonely. Nobody really cared that I wasn't speaking with a friend anymore, so I just got brushed off when I tried to express even that much to them.
My secret is that when we were kids, my sister's rabbits didn’t magically escape. I think I accidentally left the door to the kennel open. There was a snowstorm right after the rabbit got out so we are 100% percent sure it didn’t make it. I’m 24 now and this happened when I was 8 and she was 10. I still feel guilty, but there’s no way I’m telling her.
I fantasize about revenge constantly. I go to therapists and psychiatrists, but I have had these thoughts ever since I was a kid. I have never hurt any animals (I love them and could never), and I don’t plan on hurting anyone for the simple fact that I don’t want to go to prison. I keep making drawings and I tell everyone they’re just inspired by horror movies and games that I enjoy. If they knew the truth, they'd be terrified.
I’m venting the daily images from inside my head. I have a normal life. Not many friends but simply because I’m not interested in making any. I have a girlfriend whom I love very much, and my older brother that always makes me laugh, a job with some good people, and I go to college. But when I’m alone…it's different.
When I was 28, I found out that my dad was not my biological father. The news came out when I had just flown home to take care of my dad’s declining health. He was having family issues, and my mom’s constant berating was ruining his mental health. He loved her so much and tolerated her too much.
Well, during a solemn walk with my dad, as I tried to help him out, he confided his terrible secret: He's not my biological dad. He went on to tell me he knew this all along but my mom lied to him and tried to convince him that he was my biological father. He knew he wasn't, but he wanted to play the role. When I was 10 years old, my mom finally confessed this to him, and he was worried that upon hearing the news, officially, he'd somehow let this affect his relationship with me.
So, when I was 28 years old, during this walk with my dad, as he pours out this story to me, he frames it by telling me that he is so proud of how I turned out and loved raising me. Then he tells me that he had completely forgotten about the news my mom told him earlier in that day (when I was 10), about him not being my biological father, and that it was only upon tucking me in at night, that it briefly crossed his mind. It was at that point that he knew nothing would ever come between us and our father-son relationship would be as awesome as ever. I've never cried so hard.
He also confided that he and my mom grew up very poor. My dad grew up in a foster home without parents. My mom grew up with six siblings and ill-equipped parents. She dropped out of 9th grade, whereas all of her other siblings dropped out earlier, and many of them are barely literate.
I'm now mid-30s, and tragically, my dad passed in 2020, right as COVID was hitting. I was out of the country at the time but immediately flew for 30 hours and made it in time for his funeral. I do everything in his honor now.
So here’s my secret…when it comes to stress and relaxation, people deal with it in numerous different ways, like meditation, walking, other exercises, etc. When it comes to coping methods, it doesn't really matter as long as it works and it's not dangerous to anyone and it doesn't affect your health. But I don't know what people would think if they found out what I do.
When it comes to releasing stress and getting to sleep, as well as relaxing and stuff, I have a bottle that I fill with a nice warm milky drink, and I just lie in bed and drink my drink and eventually fall asleep. The thing is, it's a baby bottle, not a normal bottle.
I keep it a secret due to the fact that my sister cannot keep her mouth shut and if she knows, everyone will know within a couple of days, I don't tell my mother because she has this huge thing with "your old enough to be responsible so you have to act mature", which I completely understand, but it's seriously not helpful when I need to just chill out. My dad is just awkward to talk to about this stuff and he'll most likely tell my mom who will go on a rant about it which will end up with my sister hearing which leads all the way back to the first issue.
There's also a huge stigma around older people buying childish items for themselves. My bottle is hidden right at the back of my fridge and I try to not put milk in it if it's not in use due to health issues and stuff. Thing is, I have to be sneaky while using it because people have a habit of barging into my room without knocking or doing anything to notify me that they are coming.
I can only use it at night and when I know for sure that no one else is home.
I know it's a strange way to cope with things, but in all honesty, we've all done something at some point in our lives that a large margin of society would consider "strange" or "not normal".
It's purely for relaxation and distressing purposes and it is something that I wish I could notify people of because it would make a lot of things a whole lot easier, but sadly I can't because of the stigma around it.
So we had to euthanize our cat because we couldn't afford the medical bill. He was 10 years old and healed poorly from life-saving surgery. He lost so much weight and was on the verge of liver failure. My cat looked like he was in so much pain. But the hardest part was the lie.
My dad (devout Muslim) loved that cat. He wasn't at the vet when this was happening. Since he believes euthanasia is a sin, we told him our cat passed during the (imaginary) operation due to complications. I've never seen him cry so much.
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