Stunning family secrets

All Woman

OUR extended families all have skeletons — those embarrassing secrets we're often too afraid or ashamed to let out. Whether it's incest, teen pregnancy, murder, abuse or incarceration, sometimes it's a family member's death, holiday family gatherings, or even a bit of genealogical research that leads us to the truth. What's your big family secret?

WP:

My grandmother's husband (my step grandpa) had relations with his teenaged biological daughter, and no one in the family did anything about it. All they did was send the child to live with another relative. It was when my aunt was an adult that she confronted everyone about it — during Christmas dinner. He and my grandma were dead by then, and everyone tried to explain why they had been so silent, but that didn't satisfy my aunt, who had lived a very terrible and promiscuous life after that because of what happened to her.

LL:

Most of the females in my family are bipolar, or have some other mental illness, and I have not told my husband. A couple of my aunts and a cousin were so bad that they were institutionalised. I know I am afflicted with something, too, but I will never admit that there is anything awry. I just hope and pray that I don't have daughters.

JH:

My sister, who my mother believes lives in a small island, is actually a go-go dancer in Ocho Rios. We can never tell mummy, because she's the youngest and her favourite child. So we just go along with the lies, and hope my sister will abandon that life soon.

SB:

My father is not my biological father, and by looking at us side by side it's pretty obvious, but he really does not know that my real father is the taxi driver who used to bring my mother to work. He's in America and filing for us now, so I know it will be hell and powderhouse when the embassy asks for a DNA test.

SL:

I'm 21 and just recently found some court papers from when I was young and my parents were involved in years of custody disputes over me. I asked my mother to explain certain inconsistencies, and she was very open with me — too open now that I think about it. She told me that she once planned to kill my father, who lived overseas and was fighting for custody so I could live with him and his new wife. So she faked an accident and told him I was in the hospital, and the plan was that when he came, she would hit him in the head with a dumbbell (she bought one specifically for this), then she would drive to Flat Bridge and dump his body. She was so calm about it, and she laughed when she told me that her plans were only thwarted because when he came she realised that he had gotten so fat that she would have been unable to lift his body.

GW:

I have a cousin who is mentally retarded, and everyone in the family knows that it's because her mom and dad are two first cousins. They even have the same last name. They moved out of the neighbourhood and live together in town and people think they're married, when they're really just one weird set of people.

MK:

My sister and I were molested by our perverted grandfather when we were really small, and everybody knew about it, but no one did anything. When he finally died when I was 10 and my sister was 14, it became even more of a secret because you should not speak ill of the dead. My sister and I spat on his grave. We're just happy the old pervert is dead.

CD:

Rumour has it that one of my distant cousins got pregnant when she was 15, and her mother boiled up some bush for her to get rid of it, but it ended up killing the girl. Her father, who had beaten her when he heard she was pregnant, was afraid it would look like he was the one who beat her to death so he brought her body way into the bushes and set it on fire. It haunted him so much that he drank poison and killed himself, and the mother went insane after that.

CP:

Before my aunt died, she confessed to her daughter (who was 10 at the time) that the man she called daddy was not her father, but she should not tell anyone until she could take care of herself. It was not until my cousin was in college that she told me the name of the man that her mom said is her real dad and asked me to help her find him. We never found him, so up to now she still calls the man she grew with 'daddy'.

RP:

My biological family doesn't really have any secrets, but my church family has a lot. There is a brother who has three different families in the one church. He got two of the church sisters pregnant within a year, then a few years later he brought a woman to the church to get married, then he had children with her. I hear that he pays the other two child support though. Also, my pastor is married but he has a special liking for the young girls on the choir. He always comes to youth meetings without his wife, then offers to drop home one sister or another.

SP:

My family informally adopted this girl when I was a teen and raised her from she was around five years old. We are all Christians and would go to church, but she had a boyfriend and got pregnant without my parents knowing anything of her secret life. One day we came home and found her in the house unresponsive, and she died shortly after. Her friends confessed that they had followed her to get pills to abort the baby, and she apparently took too many. As far as everyone knows, though, she just had an epileptic seizure, because my parents were too embarrassed to tell anyone the truth and they stick to that story even now, 20 years later, even though we have all immigrated.

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