Keeping a secret can be a burden. It can be incredibly stressful, because if the secret gets out, the fallout could be catastrophic. Although sometimes, it's in someone's best interest to get it off of their chest. Especially depending on the nature of the secret.
People on Reddit share the darkest secret someone's ever shared with them. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Rocked Me To The Core”
“My mother told me several years ago about how she opened a letter addressed to my dad. She usually wouldn’t open mail, but it was torn and addressed to ‘Dearest Mike.’ This happened after I was born, but before my brother. (I’m the fourth of five).
She told me this when my husband and I were thinking about splitting. As a secret. How she confronted my dad, his tears, her inability to leave as she had four kids and no income. How she chose to stay and work it out.
It just rocked me to the core. Truthfully, as my mom got sick with permanent shingles and declining mental functions, my dad was devoted to her and devoted to caring for her. He passed just this March. Mom’s Alzheimer’s has progressed far enough that I doubt she remembers him cheating on her or telling me. She can barely remember that he died.
I will carry this secret to my grave, though I really want to talk to my siblings and see if they knew too.”
This Conversation Needed To Happen
“My dad has been a heavy drinker since I could remember. He would drive me around trashed, but he was ‘good’ at it so he didn’t think it was wrong. He said he drank because it was the only way for him to deal with his Arthritis (He has had it since he was a teenager). My mom never really drank, and absolutely was against this. She even kept him from seeing me for quite some time; looking back I hated her for years over this, I forgive her now though.
My dad can get pretty upset, and even in tears when he gets hammered enough. There were many times he’d sit there and tell me how much he hates my mom, she was an awful person, everything is her fault.
Just last year, we were drinking and playing darts for Father’s Day. He ended up admitting that he fell deeply in love with a woman named Beth in high school. He told me about her, and I asked a lot of questions. Turns out this was the love of his life, and they were together for years. One Thanksgiving, I believe, he was supposed to go have dinner with her family. She was going to tell him she was pregnant with his child, but she got into a car accident. She lost the baby and she was brain-dead. They had to let her go. That is why he drank all the time. He couldn’t cope with it. He was numbing himself to get through life.
It took him 27 years to tell me this, and the way he cried and broke over and over again while trying to get all of that out, it took me weeks to just… absorb that and be able to reflect on it without feeling absolutely wrecked from the tragedy he experienced.”
“This Statistic Lives In My Brain”
“Went on a field trip in high school. I guess traditional high school girls and boys stuff happened on both sides of the bus during the trip. Being female myself, I saw the girls stuff, and didn’t learn about the boys stuff till much later. The girls did a game of truth/dare.
Eventually the truth question was asked ‘What’s the furthest you’ve ever gone with a guy?’
One girl confessed to being touched when she was little, and then another, another. By the end of it, I was one of two girls who’d never been touched. That’s 8 out of 10 high school girls. This statistic lives in the back of my brain now.
The guys (being dumb guys) came up with a game of hitting each other in the balls. Eventually the game got out of hand, and one of them ended up in the hospital with a busted nut. All the guys were sworn to secrecy so the school wouldn’t freak out and the poor guy wouldn’t be shamed for only having one nut.”
“Could See The Shame On His Face”
“A wonderful (at the time) friend of mine from early high school who I haven’t had contact with for years, confessed that he had killed someone. He didn’t give details, he hand just randomly told me during a lighthearted conversation. Though his tone was very serious, so I knew it wasn’t a joke. It was a very weird moment to say the least.
Haven’t talked to him since…we didn’t argue or have conflict over anything, I think he saw my shocked/fearful expression on my face, and you could see the shame on his face, and maybe thought that I thought differently of him, and just decided it was best to not talk again.
Which, if I’m being honest, relieved me in a way.”
“This Obviously Eats At Him”
“My boyfriend is a recovering narcotics addict. He did all sorts of substances for decades, and paid for his habit by committing crime. He broke down to me a few months into our relationship, saying he needed to tell me something he’d never told anyone.
During his addiction he decided to rob his grandparents house. He thought no one was there, but while he was in the house, his Grandma came around the corner. He had a mask on so she didn’t know it was him. She had a heart attack (thinking there was a burglar in the house). He immediately called 911, hid the bag of what he was stealing in the backyard, took the mask off and waited with her. Grandma ended up dying on the way to the hospital.
To this day, his family thinks he was just visiting her when she had a heart attack due to old age. He has been clean for years now and come so far but this obviously eats at him every day. He hates himself so much for it. I’m the only person he’s told, I worry that his guilt will kill him some day.
I was of course shocked when he told me but it doesn’t make me love him any less. He’s a different person then who he was during his addiction, but I wish he didn’t have to hold this secret forever.”
“Definitely A System Shocker”
“I had a friend a few years ago whom I became super close to over the span of a few months. One night, we were sitting in a bar lounge in the city, talking about our exes. She told about this real piece of freaking trash ex she had. She was talking about how much she despised him, and then she just stopped and got real quiet.
Now quick thing about me, I have a background in Psychology, so when I see someone thinking about a traumatic experience I pick up on it quick. I just moved in next to her and gave her a tight hug and said something like, ‘You don’t have to say a word. I’ve seen this look on more faces than I would ever want to see.’
She proceeded to explain to me situations in which her ex attacked her, and instances where people found him while he was doing it and they did nothing to stop him. She admitted to me she hadn’t even told her therapist about this kind of trauma and it broke my heart. Seeing a client in pain when talking about trauma is different from when you are talking to someone you know.
She then confided in me that if she ever saw him again, she would torture him for the nightmare he put her through. She told me she fantasized about it, and proceeded to explain to me the details of her methods she’d torture him in. Now that was definitely a system shocker, but to me it was a cathartic thing for her. So I let her keep talking about it, and chose not to judge her for it, I truly had no idea how much pain she’d been put through by that garbage human being.”
The Heartbreaking Reason
“I was friends with benefits with this one girl who had an insanely high coitus drive. She needed to sleep with multiple men almost every day, and she was attractive enough to get it. She even became a lady of the night because she wanted to bang all the time anyway, and figured she might as well get paid for it. She was pretty open about it.
Most of her friends and coworkers knew she was a ‘lady of the night’ and a love making-addict. But one day, we’re talking and she starts telling me about why she has such a high drive. Apparently, when she was ten years old, her mom sold her into trafficking for substance money.
This went on for years. She was basically brainwashed into believing that her only value as a human being came from satisfying men. And while she consciously knew that wasn’t true, she still felt useless when she wasn’t having sleeping with someone. She didn’t even like it that much; she just couldn’t take the overwhelming feeling of uselessness she felt when she wasn’t fulfilling her ‘purpose.’”
“News Spreads Fast In The Theater World”
“I was a freshman, he was a senior, we were at a school party for the musical we’d just finished. He got the lead in every single production without fail, but everyone said it was just because his parents were the theater teachers.
At the end of the night, almost everyone was gone and I was sitting on the stairs outside waiting for my mom to pick me up. He came out and sat next to me. He was acting really weird – he was hammered. He even showed me the small, empty bottle in his hoodie pocket.
He started to talk about how much he missed his dad, but then he said something along the lines of ‘it was my fault.’
This turned into a lot of sobbing and cursing. Turns out, he had slept with a male freshman the year before. News spreads fast in the theater world, and eventually, it got to his parents.
His dad passed after getting pneumonia later that same year, or at least that’s what the family told everyone. He told me his dad actually committed suicide because he couldn’t handle having a son like him, and he told my friend this before doing so. It wasn’t hard to believe. I met his dad a month before he passed and he was a very ‘traditional’ guy (Christian, served in the military, ‘women belong at home and men work,’ that type).
This party was over the weekend, so I guess he had time to think about it. He found me that Monday, and asked me not to say anything. Apparently I was the only person that he told his dad committed and did not, in fact, have pneumonia at any point.
Last I heard, he’s in therapy for it, but I haven’t seen or heard from him in years. Really sad.”
“I Never Feel Fully Safe”
“So a bit of a backstory first. There is a really creepy girl in my school who is pretty much a loner, but I used to talk to her often because I was too nice to leave her alone. Although sometimes I did tell her sometimes to leave me alone, but it was only if she was really annoying me.
Anyway, I knew something was off from her just because of things she would talk to me about. She told me many secrets that were disturbing, and in general just creepy, stuff. For example, she had done a bunch of illegal stuff like hacking. The darkest thing she had ever said to me was mainly the fact she was planning on getting a loaded weapon permit.
Based off of where I live, she’s technically too young to have one. It wasn’t that bad at first, but then it led into her telling me about using her dad’s permit which he was still in the process of getting to be able to have a loaded weapon. She also mentioned to me going to shooting ranges. The reason why this is the darkest secret I was told is because she then told one of my best friends she was planning on shooting up our school, and would text my friend to let her know so she wouldn’t come in. Thankfully she hasn’t done anything yet but I’m still careful around her since she has followed many people home (including me) and is in general just a real creep.
The school is aware she has said this, but they have done nothing about it so until we finally leave I never feel fully safe being there.”
Not Stupid At All
“One day, after I got home from school, my parents looked a little scared. My mom asked me if I knew anything about a knife threat that a few kids were talking about on a bus. I told them that I didn’t, I wasn’t even on the same bus that the threat was made on.
Someone from my friend group, a friend of a friend, was suspended for a few days, but no one knew she was suspended. We all assumed she was sick. When she got back, she told me, and ONLY me, that her and a few other kids were bragging about their knife collections on the bus. They said that they would bring them to school to compare. They got reported to the principal (good thing!!) and she was suspended.
She repeatedly said ‘That’s so stupid! Why were we even suspended? It’s stupid, right?’
And I agreed, because I was freaked out at that point. She always seemed a little… off to me. Always go with your gut instincts, I guess.”
“I used to rent a painting studio from a couple in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (this was 2001-2004), right under the BQE at Kingsland and Meeker. Anyway… the woman in the couple was a painter and professor somewhere, I think Pratt, and the husband was a deadbeat drinker. They only charged $400 for a pretty decent sized space, and I didn’t have to interact with them much, so it was fine for the most part.
One night in the summer, my friend and I were having a few cold ones in the backyard of the building, and the landlord popped back with his own six-pack and we just hung out for a while. It was pretty normal hang-out talk for a while; neighborhood stories, back-in-the-day style stuff with us two early 20’s art kids hanging on every debauched word.
Then he drops in the story of how he was driving back from a party on the south side, wasted, and he hit some dude with his car. He off handedly says he got out for a second, and it was ‘some dude and he was pretty messed up,’ so he drove off.
My friend and I gave each other nervous looks and asked him to repeat that part. Maybe he realized he had overshared a murder story or maybe he was just wasted, but he sort of blew it off and just said, ‘Man, different times,’ and sort of peaced out for the night.
We just kept having drinks in the back and whispered our worries that he had just confessed to a murder and could maybe hear us talking about it. I moved out of the studio a month later for unrelated reasons.”
What A Despicable Human Being
“I rented a room from a guy who was a quintessential ‘poor little rich boy.’ He would do just about anything to get people to like him. I knew he was a bit of a social outcast from my friends who knew him before I rented from him. He flaunted his parents wealth, scoffed at people (like me) who didn’t have money to get the finer things.
He’d say things like, ‘Ditch that old Toyota man, for me it’s a beamer or its nothing!’
One night, the other roommate came home a little buzzed and started dishing:
‘You know most of the people he went to high school with won’t talk to him, right? No one from that era wants anything to do with him. He used to invite the basketball team over to his house after every game. The last game of his senior year, he had them over and it was wild. His parents got them drinks, let the whole team sleep over, and they bounced out of town for the evening. His sister was 16 at the time and she was good-looking – she asked to stay around for the party. Well the team noticed she was hot, so he starts giving his sister drink to the point where passed out and he let the team run a train on her.’
So dude uses his trashed sister as a means to buy what he hopes will be, friendship and respect. Word got out and he became a pariah.”
“It Makes Me Want To Cry”
“When I was in 4th grade, we had a new kid come in the middle of the year. Most people in our class thought he was weird and tried to avoid him, but my other friends and I decided to give him a chance and let him sit with us at lunch. One thing we noticed about him was that when it came to getting a bad grade or getting in trouble, he would overreact and have a full on breakdown. I remember one time he had lost his school binder, and started hitting his head on a desk and saying his parents were going to kill him.
Fast-forward to the end of the year, he comes up to me and asks me if I want to know a secret about him. I say sure. He pulled out a wallet he had, and shows me a picture of his grandparents. He told me that his parents are awful to him, so he was going to live with his grandparents.
Looking back at it, it still makes me want to cry knowing that people had no idea about what he was going through, and just avoided him at all costs because he was considered weird. I still think about him today.”
Something Didn’t Add Up
“My grandpa died last year. For context, my grandparents had been divorced since my dad was a teenager, and most of the family really wanted nothing to do with him. But he and I had always been close.
A couple of weeks after he passed, I was visiting my grandma. She loves telling stories from her life, and I love listening to them. Somehow, we got on the subject of how she met and started dating my grandpa. She mentioned they got married in August, but my dad’s birthday is in February.
So, teasingly, I say ‘Grandma you were pregnant when you got married??’
She turns to me very seriously and says, ‘Yes, because of your grandfather.’
She went on to tell me the whole story and how because she got pregnant, they had to get married.
The story ends with, ‘I’ve never told anybody that in my whole life.’”
“My Friend Does Care”
“This was before I knew my friend. But this was when he was still with his ex fiancé. She was buying narcotics from a dealer, and he was with her. The dealer brought a loaded weapon out, and pointed it at her. My friend then somehow got the weapon, and shot the guy in the face. He did that all with a straight face and doesn’t regret doing it.
He’s kind of a sociopath and has killed other people, but refuses to tell me anything about them. He has almost killed his stepdad twice when he was a kid, because his stepdad was very controlling and abusive. Like his mom was forced to divorce my friend’s stepdad when he was 16. It was either divorce him or my friend would have gone into foster care.
His two half brothers were also taken away, and were raised by their uncle because of their dad being a nightmare of a person. My friend does care, like he cares about his mom a lot. If his ex stepdad does anything to his mom, he will kill him.”
Potentially More Than A Friend
“My friend Vanessa had an affair 16 years ago. Her husband has forgiven her and taken her back, and they currently have three wonderful children. She hasn’t told her kids about it, but they are still friends with the guy. He works for the Spanish branch of some local company, so he lives in Spain, and they even take vacations with the guy.
All the kids know is that he is a family friend. The secret I’ve been told is that she is not entirely sure that her oldest daughter is her husbands or this friend. She says if it ever becomes a medical issue, she might tell her daughter, but unless that happens, she will never know this may be a possibility.”
A Huge Red Flag
“This was back when I used to smoke. I had just met my best friends new boyfriend, and we’re sitting around smoking. It gets late, and my friend says that she’s going to get ready for bed and said I had to sleep over; which I agreed with because in the morning she was going to make her famous chilaquiles.
That’s when her boyfriend proceeded to tell me that when he was younger, some friends and him got together and tied up one of their exes because she kept calling their Grandma’s house and bothering the family. He then proceeded to tell me that they beat her, and made sure she would never bother their grandma again. He then proceeded to look at me with a serious face and ask, ‘Am I the bad guy?’
I then say ‘No, she that she had that coming.’
He then started smiling and saying, ‘I knew I liked you,’ and went to bed.
They’re married now and I have found out more about him. I don’t talk to my best friend anymore.”