Sometimes it's hard to remember that parents are people, too. They have interior lives, they make mistakes, and they feel strange emotions, just like the rest of us - but it’s still weird when we discover secrets about our parents. Knowing what to do with this information can be tricky - should you tell them, or keep it to yourself?
The people of Reddit have shared what they've learned about their parents, ultimately deciding they’ll go to the grave without letting their parents know that their pasts have surfaced in strange ways.
From Redditor /u/happypurplepig:
My mom had to do some soul searching for AA. She wrote a list called "life resentments" and Having Kids was the first bullet point. Found it while I was looking for my social security card to apply for my first job at 16... She kept it in a safe.
From Redditor /u/Anagoneous:
I've been dating one of my parents' [employees] for almost a year now, [and] for personal reasons, we decided to hide it from them. My father and my girlfriend always had a good relationship. Few weeks ago, my father went by her apartment and told her that my mother and him didn't [sleep together] anymore, You guess what he came for... Obviously my girlfriend told him that there is no way she would do that to my mother. So now I know that my father is actively looking for someone to cheat on my mother with.
From Redditor /u/Haceldama:
I know that my mom got pregnant at 15 on purpose. She was constantly being shuttled between early '80s foster care and her own terrible family, and she felt like her only way to escape was to get emancipated through marriage. She knew my dad from school and thought he'd make the perfect husband. Smart, funny, from a seemingly good family, and he had protected her several times. So she seduced him, knowing their parents would insist on marriage if she got knocked up, and she did.
Unfortunately for her, he turned out to be a... dealing, mentally ill teenager from a dysfunctional, [alcohol-dependent] family. The marriage lasted only a few months, but she did get her escape. My mom has no idea that I know this, and she'd be devastated if she knew.
From Redditor /u/Willard2566:
My biological dad [passed] when I was two (car accident going to his next duty station), and not too long ago, I got a box of letters he had sent my aunt, uncle, and his parents. Since he [passed] when I was so young, I didn't really know him that well, but this treasure trove of letters gave me some real insight into who he was. It was a lot of letters from the time he was in the Navy before he married my mom, all the way up to not long before he [passed].
In one set of letters, he discusses with my grandparents how he and my mom aren't getting along. He mentions that they might get a divorce, but he wanted their help in getting custody of me. I think mostly because my mom was born and raised in Ireland and not yet a true citizen of the US, so he was afraid he'd never see me again if I went with her. Apparently she was fine with him taking me. They reconciled, but it's interesting to know that she would have given me up and I'd have grown up in LA instead of with her, ultimately on the East Coast of the US.