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We have one that I don't know. When I was a teenager, my mom asked me if I wanted her to tell me something she didn't think I knew. I said no. I still have no idea what it was, but I haven't yet been in a place where I have wanted to invite drama into my life, so I have never asked about it.

 

I am much older than my siblings and have offhandedly mentioned things that they didn't know about, but that I remember.  I was born when my parents and aunts/uncles were very young, so I remember their wild days, while my siblings can't imagine the boring, settled older parents getting up to anything. Some of the things that have come up were a relative's two previous marriages, a relative who ran away permanently, a relative who used to be a drug dealer, and -my favorite- that Dad used to have an earring! And a perm! (Dad would really have preferred to take that to the grave!)

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I hate family secrets and think it's so wrong to keep them. I felt so betrayed by everyone when I found out important things that I had been lied to about. It upsets me that the older generation thoug

I must say, genealogy is starting to look like a much more interesting hobby!

???   Since she didn't press charges no one needs to know that this man is disposed to beat someone up when he is refused sex?   This is why secrets are toxic.

I don't think our family has secrets. Or maybe they are just extremely well kept, LOL.

 

There are things that were not talked about. My great grandmother died probably from an abortion, and it is likely that the pregnancy was the result of an affair. That was one hundred years ago. My mom does not know the details, my grandma is dead, and my old aunt might know - but it is not actually a secret, just something that does not need to be discussed, since it affects nobody.

 

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The big secret in my family when I was growing up was my mom's alcoholism. I guess it wasn't technically a secret since it was glaringly obvious to everyone in our house, but it was one of those things that you never, ever acknowledged or spoke of or you would be in big trouble. Like the time I was 10 years old and asked her if she could please not drink so much because I worried about her health and she got furious and gave me the silent treatment for a week. That's when I learned it was best to keep my mouth shut and my head down. What's really sad is that my older brother became an alcoholic in his late teens/early twenties and it was treated the same way, just swept under the rug by my parents. He ended up dying from alcoholism.  :(

 

Dh's family is full of secrets, including some he just learned recently that are pretty horrible. He's known for years that some of his cousins were molested by another relative, but he just found out that there were adults in the family who knew about the molestation and did nothing to stop it. So sickening...He also found out that one of his relatives beat her daughter so badly that she ended up in the hospital with broken bones.

 

I'm so thankful that we both got away from our crazy families. There are no secrets in our house!

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I don't think we have any family secrets.  There are some scandals, but no secrets (unless I haven't been told yet).  

 

In the scandal department, I want to say my great grandfather left my great-grandmother and lived with another woman and had a family with her.  They couldn't divorce because they were Catholic (or wouldn't divorce), but he just kind of left and never came back.

 

Haven't done the math enough to see if we have any shotgun weddings or such in the past.  Wouldn't surprise me, though. 

Edited by umsami
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Oh! MIL had been married before she married the man with whom she had kids and she never told anybody - not even the father of her children - until she told her daughter. Only she told her when she was, like 8, or something.

 

And one day in conversation, the little girl busts out, "just like mom's first husband! :D" Only nobody else knew about mom's first husband.

 

And I'm like, how is that even a thing to keep secret? They aren't Christian, so it's a legit marriage, and there were no kids, and they never spoke again, and it was just weird.

 

Make your secrets count, people!

I was going to say that we don't have secrets because my family's Italian -- the drama is all out in the open! - but this reminded me of one on the other side...

 

When my sister and I were little, we were playing in my grandmother's attic and we happened across a wedding album for "Joanne" and "Tom" (I'm changing the names in case my cousins happen across this...) Now, Joanne was my aunt, but her husband, who she had married in her early twenties, was named Bill.  My sister and I asked our mom who Tom was, and she told us, "We don't talk about Tom." 

 

 My aunt must have been very young and it can't have lasted long.  I'm not sure why it was a secret.... Hmmm, maybe I should ask now...

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I just remembered.  *I* was a family secret on my bio dad's side.  He never told his older sister, or my sister or anyone else.   It was very hurtful to my sister when she found out.  Also, when I tried to contact her for years (she was an adult) the younger aunt who knew about me and my bio dad and step mom would not pass on my messages to my sister.  She is REALLY hurt by that.  She loves them and she feels they betrayed her and stole her relationship with me from her.

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AnnE-girl, I also think about that line between secrets and things-not-discussed. And the line between things-not-discussed and gossip. 

 

In the case you mentioned, I probably wouldn't sit my kids down to tell them the story. Sooner or later, there will probably be a How did you and dad meet? moment.

Edited by Penguin
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Yes,...I grew up having a half sister, but could never see her.

 

My father denies he was ever married to the woman( he was according to records) and he denies the child is his. (She looks just like me, by what I have seen by a picture I saw one time)

We never ever talked about it, and he pretty much disowned her, rather than deal with her mother.

My brother ended up disowning his only child as well for the same reason. What is wrong with people.

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After my mom divorced my dad, she had a boyfriend who I think she likely would have married if he hadn't died suddenly. Mom and "Steve's" 2 adult daughters were going through his papers when they came across information about one of the sisters being adopted by Steve. Apparently her mom had an affair and Steve adopted and raised the daughter as his own. Steve's daughter was devastated to learn this, especially when she was already dealing with the sudden death of her dad.

 

I don't think we have any secrets in our family; we tend to be open with each other. However, the above scenario might not have been a secret as much as something just not talked about, but it sure devastated that young woman! I'm sure her mom had an earful after the daughter processed the information.

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I had an alcoholic grandfather that was never talked about. I just learned last year at age 45, that he died of ALS. Wouldn't that be important for future medical records?!? My grandmother insisted she immigrated from Germany. My Grandfather immigrated from Germany. When I was 46, I find out they both immigrated from Poland. My Grandmother had crossed out Poland on her citizen papers and put in Germany. So all those Polish jokes in the 70s in Chicago that we laughed about where really about me.

 

 

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I believe there is a family secret that has been unsuccessfully hidden from me.  I figured it out on my own.  I would never dare let on that I suspect.  But the evidence is pretty obvious if you know anything about genetics.  Still, why hurt people by bringing it up?  (It doesn't directly concern me.)

 

We have one other thing that is hidden from some but not others - yet the "hiding" isn't all that careful ... it is most likely that everyone in the family knows but prefers not to "go there."

 

I walk a fine line with some of my kids' information about their birth moms.  My family is full of opinionated bigmouths (said lovingly), likely to stumble unintentionally onto a hurtful topic if they don't know it's sensitive.

 

ETA and there are some things I know about my kids' birth families that I haven't told them yet.  I will tell them when I think they are ready.

Edited by SKL
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There are some on my dad's side about illegitimate children.  I have some cousins who are the half siblings and as far as I know are still in the dark, but that may not be the case.  I also know about infidelity in that generation that is "secret," I am not sure who knows or doesn't, so I just keep quiet.

 

I'm not totally comfortable about it, especially with regards to my cousin's siblings, but it also isn't my personal life and I don't know what the repercussions might be.  In particular, the mom of one of the out of wedlock kids wanted privacy and I'm not in a position to know why.

 

On my mom's side I know about some affairs, but I don't knw if they are really secrets so much as not mentioned.  Really, it would be gossip in most cases so I can see why.

 

ETA: I know about some really juicy stuff way back, but those aren't really secrets either. 

Edited by Bluegoat
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Oh yeah, my mom never would tell us what her brother had done to land himself in prison.  Must have been really bad.  I guess she might spill if I asked her now, but on the other hand, why pour salt in old wounds ....  I don't *need* to know.

 

I know a few sensitive things because my mom isn't very good at keeping secrets.  I don't know how many others know these things, and I don't plan on asking around to find out.  :P

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I don't think we have any family secrets.  There are some scandals, but no secrets (unless I haven't been told yet).  

 

In the scandal department, I want to say my great grandfather left my great-grandmother and lived with another woman and had a family with her.  They couldn't divorce because they were Catholic (or wouldn't divorce), but he just kind of left and never came back.

 

 

 

Scandal yes. My parents divorce was a scandal. We too were Catholic and this was in the mid 1960s so it was certainly scandalous at the time. We were the black sheep for quite a while. Years later my mother's younger sister also got divorced but by then it was no longer considered scandalous and we were restored to accepted status.

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Out big family secret was a faked wedding anniversary--the actual date was five months before my aunt's birthday, not nine. Grandpa let the cat out of the bag as soon as Grandma had passed on. I don't know how it was kept quiet for so long--everyone in that generation knew about it, but somehow mom and auntie never figured it out. They did finally understand why grandma never wanted an anniversary party, or a card, or flowers. :)

 

I outed a similar secret in my MIL's family with a shifted anniversary date. A mom of a college age daughter was reacting to the girl's out of wedlock pregnancy by shaming her and refusing to allow a baby shower. I heard this, thought it cruel, and said, "Why would she do that when she is the product of an out of wedlock pregnancy herself?" After which, the room was silent and all eyes on me. I had no idea it was a secret. In the future, don't tell me things you don't want me to blurt out at the most inopportune moment. Luckily, the mom of the pregnant daughter got over herself and helped her and loved her grandchild once it came along.

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Secrets are the things that would embarrass the family or put someone in prison if it were made public at the time. For ex, a classmate of mine broke her engagement because she did not want sex until after marriage, he did, and she was beaten and ended up at the ER. That doesnt need to be mentioned as it serves no purpose to do so, and since she didn't press charges,its a secret his family doesn't want told.

???

 

Since she didn't press charges no one needs to know that this man is disposed to beat someone up when he is refused sex?

 

This is why secrets are toxic.

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I believe there is a family secret that has been unsuccessfully hidden from me.  I figured it out on my own.  I would never dare let on that I suspect.  But the evidence is pretty obvious if you know anything about genetics.  Still, why hurt people by bringing it up?  (It doesn't directly concern me.)

 

We have one other thing that is hidden from some but not others - yet the "hiding" isn't all that careful ... it is most likely that everyone in the family knows but prefers not to "go there."

 

I walk a fine line with some of my kids' information about their birth moms.  My family is full of opinionated bigmouths (said lovingly), likely to stumble unintentionally onto a hurtful topic if they don't know it's sensitive.

 

ETA and there are some things I know about my kids' birth families that I haven't told them yet.  I will tell them when I think they are ready.

 

This is true for us as well. I hadn't even thought of that when I was thinking of our family secrets and reading this thread. Talking about birth families is not a taboo topic, but we consider it information for the child. When the children were younger, we didn't want others in the family to know things about them that they did not yet know about themselves.

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???

 

Since she didn't press charges no one needs to know that this man is disposed to beat someone up when he is refused sex?

 

This is why secrets are toxic.

 

Maybe, but do we want to say people are obliged to bring charges?  For many, the reason they don't want to is because they want to keep it private.  And accusing someone without bringing charges has some ethical questions attached to it as well.

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My mom kept her breast cancer a secret. She just didn't want anyone to know. Only her medical team, my dad, and my siblings knew.

 

I found it inexplicable at the time. I lived in a different city, and I told my own friends and asked them to pray for her. They didn't know her, and she never knew I told, and it made me feel better.

 

I think she didn't want people to think differently about her or to ask her how she was doing to want updates on her health. She just wanted to go on as normally as possible. She went through chemo and radiation but didn't lose her hair.

 

Years later, she also refused to talk about her Alzheimer's diagnosis. That one we did share, but it was growing obvious that something was wrong by the time she agreed to go see a doctor for a diagnosis. But she never, ever even mentioned it herself. Even though she had some reading material at home about it, so I know she was contemplating it herself.

 

She was just private, I guess. Which is weird, because she was the kind of person who would tell everyone everything that was going on -- would even chat with strangers. An extreme extrovert otherwise.

 

I wouldn't keep her cancer diagnosis a secret now, but there is no point in talking about it. None of her grandchildren are related to her biologically, so there is no genetic link there to be concerned about, and of course my sister and I know that part of our family medical history.

Edited by Storygirl
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I am sure there are plenty of family secrets that I am unaware of and will die with my parents genereation.

 

Dh's family has a secret.  The bigger secret is that everyone in the family knows the secret.  The person who the secret belongs to thinks no one knows.

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I outed a similar secret in my MIL's family with a shifted anniversary date. A mom of a college age daughter was reacting to the girl's out of wedlock pregnancy by shaming her and refusing to allow a baby shower. I heard this, thought it cruel, and said, "Why would she do that when she is the product of an out of wedlock pregnancy herself?" After which, the room was silent and all eyes on me. I had no idea it was a secret. In the future, don't tell me things you don't want me to blurt out at the most inopportune moment. Luckily, the mom of the pregnant daughter got over herself and helped her and loved her grandchild once it came along.

 

 

Personally I think this is a key reason people keep secrets.  Because they just can't deal with the shame they feel.  In hindsite I realize all the things that my XMIL railed against were things about herself that she kept secret.  Unwed mothers, people living together, 'walking down the isle', having bad genes or not knowing someone's 'true genes' if they were adopted....all these things are about her much more than her nastiness toward someone else.  

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Maybe, but do we want to say people are obliged to bring charges?  For many, the reason they don't want to is because they want to keep it private.  And accusing someone without bringing charges has some ethical questions attached to it as well.

 

I don't think charges should be up to the individuals involved. If a crime occurred, the law should press charges if they would do so in any other case. Many people won't request that charges be brought, but they also won't commit perjury in court. 

 

Spreading rumors has some ethical questions attached to it, if one doesn't actually know what happened. But if a victim is able to make the decision and doesn't press charges, that doesn't mean they give up the right to talk about what occurred . The guilty party should just be glad that they aren't in prison and being talked about!

 

 DH adopted DD several years ago, and DD8, who was 3 at the time did come to the court house.  I am sure she doesn't remember though and for now there's no reason to bring it up out of nowhere.  It doesn't affect the kids in anyway so there's no reason to point it out.  If a situation came up that it was discussed, we wouldn't hide it from them or anything.  So I don't know if that counts as a "secret" or not.  There's no reason to hide it, but also no reason to share it, really.  DH is her dad legally, and at this age, my kids wouldn't really understand anyway. 

 

So the adopted dd knows but younger sister does not? I agree that isn't an intentional secret, but I'd err on the side of letting her know, or at least setting the stage for letting her know. Memories are strange things, and she may not remember the courthouse specifically but still have an underlying feeling of something not being as it seems. And it really just gets harder and harder to bring up as they get older, without making it seem like a bigger deal than it is.

 

Did you take photos that day? If so, I'd put on in the family album or on the shelf when changing out pictures. She may ask about the occasion pretty quickly; if not, you can eventually just bring it up when describing pictures, or ask her if she remembers that day. It's ideal if she's in the picture as well, because that clearly shows you weren't trying to keep it a secret. 

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I don't think charges should be up to the individuals involved. If a crime occurred, the law should press charges if they would do so in any other case. Many people won't request that charges be brought, but they also won't commit perjury in court. 

 

Spreading rumors has some ethical questions attached to it, if one doesn't actually know what happened. But if a victim is able to make the decision and doesn't press charges, that doesn't mean they give up the right to talk about what occurred . I agree.  I was the victim of an assault, almost rape...not sure what the legal term would be.  I tell anyone I want to about it but I did not even file a report.   The guilty party should just be glad that they aren't in prison and being talked about!

 

 

So the adopted dd knows but younger sister does not? I agree that isn't an intentional secret, but I'd err on the side of letting her know, or at least setting the stage for letting her know. Memories are strange things, and she may not remember the courthouse specifically but still have an underlying feeling of something not being as it seems. And it really just gets harder and harder to bring up as they get older, without making it seem like a bigger deal than it is.

 

Did you take photos that day? If so, I'd put on in the family album or on the shelf when changing out pictures. She may ask about the occasion pretty quickly; if not, you can eventually just bring it up when describing pictures, or ask her if she remembers that day. It's ideal if she's in the picture as well, because that clearly shows you weren't trying to keep it a secret. 

 

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One of my family's secrets was that my grandmother had a previous marriage before she was married to my grandfather (gasp! how scandalous!) My father said his aunt told him but he didn't believe her because she was a bitter old woman who was always spreading lies. He didn't find out the truth till his father died, his mother was disabled and living in a nursing home, and he was cleaning out their house and found the divorce papers. It kind of shocked him.

 

I'm sure there are plenty of other family secrets that have died with previous generations and I don't feel the need to pass any of them down to my kids. Except that one, just because I find the story kind of amusing. ;)

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The secrets in my family involve people who have passed on.  But they greatly affected the secret holder in my family -- they have to have -- and I have much more empathy for her than before I knew her secrets.  She did not have an easy childhood and it explains why she is a difficult person now.

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I don't think charges should be up to the individuals involved. If a crime occurred, the law should press charges if they would do so in any other case. Many people won't request that charges be brought, but they also won't commit perjury in court.

 

Spreading rumors has some ethical questions attached to it, if one doesn't actually know what happened. But if a victim is able to make the decision and doesn't press charges, that doesn't mean they give up the right to talk about what occurred . The guilty party should just be glad that they aren't in prison and being talked about!

.

 

But, if the person who is accusing the wrong doing doesn't go through the courts, the accused never had the chance to defend him/herself.

 

I was the victim in a crime. I pressed charges and the other person was found guilty. However, I was under 18 yrs old so the records were not made public. I found out in recent years that my abuser told all that it was me, I lied, and all that they were my victim. I wonder if others believe that person. I did find records online that shouldn't have been there that proved that I told the truth. But, this is a decades old crime. How would I even go back to prove my innocence when I don't know how much the damage was done? (as in, I have the proof, I just do not know what the damage is) I only found out from an acquaintance a few years ago that they always heard the abusers side of the story and had no idea it wasn't even true. I am even starting to shake and have a panic attack talking about it.

 

If someone starts rumors that such-n-such happened, others have to figure out who is telling the truth. And it is not that victims don't lie but rather that victims rarely speak up but abusers are more than happy to trash on their victims and continue to drag them through the mud and hurt them all they can.

 

I think laws should be in place to force criminal charges on abusers. Victims generally won't/can't stand up for themselves.

Edited by Janeway
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I don't think charges should be up to the individuals involved. If a crime occurred, the law should press charges if they would do so in any other case. Many people won't request that charges be brought, but they also won't commit perjury in court.

 

Spreading rumors has some ethical questions attached to it, if one doesn't actually know what happened. But if a victim is able to make the decision and doesn't press charges, that doesn't mean they give up the right to talk about what occurred . The guilty party should just be glad that they aren't in prison and being talked about!

.

But, if the person who is accusing the wrong doing doesn't go through the courts, the accused never had the chance to defend him/herself.

 

I was the victim in a crime. I pressed charges and the other person was found guilty. However, I was under 18 yrs old so the records were not made public. I found out in recent years that my abuser told all that it was me, I lied, and all that they were my victim. I wonder if others believe that person. I did find records online that shouldn't have been there that proved that I told the truth. But, this is a decades old crime. How would I even go back to prove my innocence when I don't know how much the damage was done? I only found out from an acquaintance a few years ago that they always heard the abusers side of the story and had no idea it wasn't even true. I am even starting to shake and have a panic attack talking about it.

 

If someone starts rumors that such-n-such happened, others have to figure out who is telling the truth. And it is not that victims don't lie but rather that victims rarely speak up but abusers are more than happy to trash on their victims and continue to drag them through the mud and hurt them all they can.

 

I think laws should be in place to force criminal charges on abusers. Victims generally won't/can't stand up for themselves.

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I'm sure there are secrets on my dad's side that I don't know about.  My Mom always said that there family was always like, "Aunt Madelyn has cancer, but don't talk about it, it's a secret."  He has passed and I'm not close to that side of my family.

 

My Mom's family talks about everything including her Mom who ran off with a traveling salesman when she was 18 (and later divorced--this was over 100 years ago!) and her sister who went crazy and threatened to kill my mom and her brother.  Everything is right out there in the open.

 

About making things secret--I have a cousin who committed suicide and my kids do know (well the older 3),but if felt awkward telling them.  It's not b/c of shame--more like they didn't know him, rarely (like once or twice so far in their life) met my aunt, uncle and his sister and it just didn't seem apropos to anything in their life so it felt forced, if you know what I mean.  I could easily have made it a secret, when it's more like something that never came up.

 

I know a secret about why my grandmother had the nickname for my grandfather that she did.  She always said it was a silly romantic thing.  I found out reading their letters that were stored in the attic.  I've decided not to tell it while my Mom's generation is alive, just b/c it feels like she wanted it private from her kids and it would seem wrong to say it, iykwim.  If anyone else knows, they haven't said anything, either.

 

 

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Maybe, but do we want to say people are obliged to bring charges?  For many, the reason they don't want to is because they want to keep it private.  And accusing someone without bringing charges has some ethical questions attached to it as well.

 

 

I disagree. 

 

The system is a nightmare, and often the nightmare is much worse for the accuser than for the accused.

 

It's perfectly valid to choose not to pursue the "official" route but still want to speak the truth. Just because a person does not want to pursue legal channels does not mean that person must remain silent.

 

And there are definitely ethical questions with choosing not to share the truth when others' safety or wellbeing is at stake.

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In our state, the state presses charges in cases of domestic abuse (and maybe some other crimes). I think that's a good law, but it has a big drawback: If a victim really doesn't want to cooperate, they can end up in trouble with the law for ignoring a summons or contempt of court. Terrible situations, but I think most judges try to be understanding.

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Lots of secrets on both sides of the family.  The two that I have the most interest in are the ones involving my parents.  While my father was in the military he fathered a child while overseas. The mom wrote to him asking for help for their son.  I found the letter while cleaning out his desk after he died.  When my mom was a teenager, she was sent away to spend several months with extended family and came back noticeably thinner.  I believe that she had a girl that was adopted by the extended family. This is absolutely not a topic open for discussion in that side of the family.

 

There are other stories of infidelity, births, deaths and such but most of the people involved have died. 

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But, if the person who is accusing the wrong doing doesn't go through the courts, the accused never had the chance to defend him/herself.

 

I was the victim in a crime. I pressed charges and the other person was found guilty. However, I was under 18 yrs old so the records were not made public. I found out in recent years that my abuser told all that it was me, I lied, and all that they were my victim. I wonder if others believe that person. I did find records online that shouldn't have been there that proved that I told the truth. But, this is a decades old crime. How would I even go back to prove my innocence when I don't know how much the damage was done? I only found out from an acquaintance a few years ago that they always heard the abusers side of the story and had no idea it wasn't even true. I am even starting to shake and have a panic attack talking about it.

 

If someone starts rumors that such-n-such happened, others have to figure out who is telling the truth. And it is not that victims don't lie but rather that victims rarely speak up but abusers are more than happy to trash on their victims and continue to drag them through the mud and hurt them all they can.

 

I think laws should be in place to force criminal charges on abusers. Victims generally won't/can't stand up for themselves.

 

 

I am sorry something from so long ago is causing you to be so upset.  Obviously even when charges are pursued the criminal/abuser whatever can lie and say it never happened. 

 

What happened to me was mostly devastating because my now XH was horrible to me about it.  He blamed me and accused me of 'asking for it,' even though I was asleep in my own bed in my own house and this person came into my room.  I was dealing with so much trauma from the way my XH was treating me about it that I sure as heck wasn't going to deal with telling the story to the police.  That man is not in my  life in any way, but I tell the story to whoever I want.  It is my story.  

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So the adopted dd knows but younger sister does not? I agree that isn't an intentional secret, but I'd err on the side of letting her know, or at least setting the stage for letting her know. Memories are strange things, and she may not remember the courthouse specifically but still have an underlying feeling of something not being as it seems. And it really just gets harder and harder to bring up as they get older, without making it seem like a bigger deal than it is.

 

Did you take photos that day? If so, I'd put on in the family album or on the shelf when changing out pictures. She may ask about the occasion pretty quickly; if not, you can eventually just bring it up when describing pictures, or ask her if she remembers that day. It's ideal if she's in the picture as well, because that clearly shows you weren't trying to keep it a secret. 

Well, DD21 was 16 when DH adopted her.  She was 6 when we got married, and of course is in the wedding pictures since she was the flower girl.  So obviously she knows lol.  My younger kids are 8, 6, and 4.  DD6 has developmental delays, potentially HFA, and ultimately doesn't have the vocabulary to understand something like that.  DS4 is....4.  lol.  We do have some pics from the day DH adopted DD21, and they are readily available, but we just don't go through pics a lot.  DD8 pulled out the wedding album recently, and knew that the pic of the flower girl was her sister, but, that's just kind of how it is.  No questions....it just is.  There's no good way to explain the difference between a biological father and a parent, to kids who are 8, 6, and 4, who have NO experience with divorce, single parents, etc.  My parents are still married, DH's parents were married until MIL passed and FIL didn't remarry before he passed in November, my siblings are all still married, DH's sister is still married, and the only aunts I have that have divorced...my kids have never met.  Any explainations would require specifically addressing the situation and introducing concepts that for right now, there are no reasons to introduce.  Kids are smart, and they could probably handle it, but ultimately...at this point, it just doesn't change anything, just would create confusion.  No point in creating confusion when the only thing that would impact their lives IS the confusion.

 

Thing is, the relationship between DD21 and her younger sibs is much different than most sibling relationships.  There are 13 years age difference between DD21 and DD8.  And then of course, 15, and 17 yrs.  I mean, there are only 7 yrs between DH and I....and there are only 10 yrs between DD21 and my youngest sister, who turns 32 in another two months.  DD21 moved off to college just 1 yr after DS4 was born.  She spent more time with my sister than her own brother, in terms of time at home. 

As their lives progress, as birds and bees get introduced, that would provide a natural opening for the discussion.  And I have no problem sharing when it comes up.  If DD8 saw the pic of DD21 at our wedding and asked about why she was there at the wedding but they weren't, no issues explaining that DD21 was born before I met her daddy, that sort of thing.   There's just no reason to try to explain it all right now, at ages 8, 6 and 4

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Well apparently I harbored a family secret without knowing it.

 

Last year, at a family wedding, my tipsy older sister blurted out that I have a tattoo on my breast.  My kids looked at me with a completely horrified look on their faces.  How could it be that their angelic, straight-laced, pure mother had a tattoo in an unmentionable place?  :lol:

 

It wasn't being kept a secret on purpose, but it just hadn't come up in conversation.  It's not something you typically discuss with your teenage boys, just out of the blue, know what I mean?  Nor do I make it a habit of flashing my boobies to my teenage sons.  :lol:

 

Well, cat's out of the bag now!  :lol:

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...I'm so thankful that we both got away from our crazy families. There are no secrets in our house!

So much yes. Thankfully, except a half sister I met in high school on my dad's side, all of my family is thousands of miles away. Last year, I've even distanced in other ways, too.

 

Dh knows most and one friend a teeny tiny bit, but I'm doing my best to nurture a completely different life for myself and family and that means keeping secrets. :)

Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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This is not exactly the same but I have a friend right now who won't say who the father of her baby is.  She acts like she wants to be close to me, she always tells me how much she appreciates my friendship....but she says she has to keep that separate.  I can't see how that works as baby gets older. But I am trying to honor her wishes.  I just don't see how a child's father should ever be 'a secret'.  

 

Could be . . . a married man . . . a rapist . . . some other "bad" person who is now in jail or otherwise gone and she doesn't want her kid associated with . . . a relative . . . her priest/pastor . . . some other professional who would be criminally or ethically exposed for having been involved with her . . . or some other unpleasant thing . . . 

 

Could have been a sperm donor, too. That definitely happens, both formally (at a clinic) and informally (a friend who agrees to impregnate but not be the dad). 

 

I'd just avoid bringing up the topic, for sure. If/when she wants to talk about it, you'll be there!

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I have two that I will take to the grave.

 

In both cases it is best for all parties involved that it remain this way. My sil thinks that she has a ton of secrets but she really doesn't. She blabs too many hints to too many people. Everybody knows what she is talking about while ahe thinks she is mysterious!LOL

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Could be . . . a married man . . . a rapist . . . some other "bad" person who is now in jail or otherwise gone and she doesn't want her kid associated with . . . a relative . . . her priest/pastor . . . some other professional who would be criminally or ethically exposed for having been involved with her . . . or some other unpleasant thing . . .

 

Could have been a sperm donor, too. That definitely happens, both formally (at a clinic) and informally (a friend who agrees to impregnate but not be the dad).

 

I'd just avoid bringing up the topic, for sure. If/when she wants to talk about it, you'll be there!

Well it wasn't rape. She was disciplined by the congregation which would not have happened with rape. She is 40, unmarried, disabled and has 4 other children so I am certain it wasn't a planned thing in any way. She has indicated the father is much younger.....26 years old I believe. And she is embarrassed about it all I think. But whatever....I am not judging anything about it....I just don't see how you can keep the father of your baby a secret.

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Well apparently I harbored a family secret without knowing it.

 

Last year, at a family wedding, my tipsy older sister blurted out that I have a tattoo on my breast. My kids looked at me with a completely horrified look on their faces. How could it be that their angelic, straight-laced, pure mother had a tattoo in an unmentionable place? :lol:

 

It wasn't being kept a secret on purpose, but it just hadn't come up in conversation. It's not something you typically discuss with your teenage boys, just out of the blue, know what I mean? Nor do I make it a habit of flashing my boobies to my teenage sons. :lol:

 

Well, cat's out of the bag now! :lol:

I laughed so hard at this. I have one on my shoulder. No one knew I had it until my wedding day. My strapless dress made it visible. There were large gasps heard the whole way down the aisle.

Nowt it is covered by EVERYTHING I own except a swimming suit. When we've gone swimming with certain friends-whoa. 😀

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We have one which the entire immediate family knows about, and a few members of extended family as well.

 

We don't really discuss it, and I think for the sake of honoring that person's memory, we won't tell it to future generations. It's something that I wish I didn't know, but it kind of happens that I need to.

 

Now, I do believe this "secret" is public record, though I haven't tried looking. It's not something that would come up unless intentionally looking for it, though.

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I found out 2 about my dad after I graduated high school. My dad was married 2x before my mom. I knew about #2. But #1 was a complete surprise. He married at 17 or 18 (he was from a small farming community, it still is a small farming community. Not even on the maps really.) She had an illness (not sure what, but weakened legs, etc). She died in childbirth along with the baby boy. After that dad enlisted in time for the Korean war. When he got back (injured, disabled discharge, not sure of the technical term), he married #2 (the one I knew about). They had several girls. I was told she had died. But then I was told after high school, that she was actually institutionalized. Apparently there was something genetic/postpartum related and she lost it. Tried to kill the girls and herself. Dad took the girls, raised them himself and divorced her. She never got better and died a couple of years after he did. Then he married my mom when the youngest girl was in elementary school. I was born many years later, so the girls were out of the house while I was growing up. But I knew them as half sisters.

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My dad is an unreliable natrator and likes to share "family secrets" most of which are just not true.

 

I don't put a lot of stock into secrets. I don't participate in such shenanagins. If it's the truth, I see no real need to hide it.

Sounds like some people in my family.

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Also, I think when family secrets are outed, they have as much chance of being lies as truths.

One time, I heard my husband was a heavy drinker and a gambler who was gambling away all our money. This was from a relative who lived far away. It was a big WTF moment. I have never known my husband to gamble. And he did drink, but he was not a heavy drinker. And financially, we do better than the people or person who started the rumor. I suspect I know who started the rumor. And in 2012, I overheard him telling someone that I had been in jail. I have never been in jail! Later, he tried to pull my older children aside to out me to them as someone who has been in jail, mental institution, etc etc. At that point, I cut him out of our lives. But around this time, just before I cut him out, that person's mother started telling me how much husband is overpaid and shouldn't have the job he had because he does not have a degree. Ummm, my husband does have a degree, and from a very top big name university. In the end, the real family secret is, that particular family member who was spreading the gossip had gotten himself a drug addiction to prescription drugs and his doctor eventually tried to get him in to a rehab program. He went initially, but then figured it was better to find a different doctor who would prescribe more pain pills. I know some relatives figured that out about him. But due to the fact that I am not a gossip, and the offending gossiper actually told me that in confidence (amazing how all over the place one gets when on drugs) I never felt comfortable shooting back at him and telling all that he had a drug addiction problem.

Sorry if my post is confusing. I am making this post while a 1 yr old uses me as a horsey instead of sleeping. But the point is, the mere nature of family secrets makes it so it is hard to ever know the real truth.

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I am older than most of you but I am pretty much resigned to the fact that I will never know:

 

1.) Why our family dog was named "Vector".

2.) Whether the man I call "Dad" is biologically related to me.

 

There have been some other real doozies that have come out over my lifetime and other secrets that I would never, ever dream of telling anyone ever under any circumstances but it sure would have felt good to get them off my chest to a complete stranger on the internet long before the Snowden revelations or even before we really knew about things like cookies and tracking ISPs so I'm pretty honest with my own kids about having lived an unusual life and having made my share of mistakes along the way.

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