45 People Share The Secrets They Hope To Keep From Their Parents Forever

Many of us master the art of keeping secrets from our parents at a very young age. No, I didn’t steal a cookie from the cookie jar. And I have no idea how the floor got sticky over there, it definitely wasn’t me! As we grow older, our relationships with our parents often grow as well, but that doesn’t mean that we start being completely honest with them.

Reddit users have been spilling secrets online that they’ll never tell Mom or Dad, so we’ve gathered some of the juiciest ones below. From wholesome little white lies to information that could ruin relationships, enjoy reading through these replies, and keep reading to find a conversation with Tori Finnegan, LCSW from Modern Therapy!

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#1

The “stray cat” I found and begged to keep as a teenage belonged to a friend. Her parents were hurting it (step dad would kick it across the room and we found it trying to eat soap because the mom refused to buy cat food in hopes it would live off mice in the basement) and my friend and I pretended the cat escaped but took it to my house.

Image credits: squonkparty

#2

Me and my sister emailed the adoption agency that mum was applying through to foster a child, telling them how she treated us as kids, resulting in her being denied

She’d k**l us if she found out but definitely saved some kid so don’t regret it.

Image credits: liamoj97

#3

How far we went on those bikes.

Image credits: Automatic_Host_3626

To gain more insight on the topic of keeping secrets from our parents, we reached out to Tori Finnegan, LCSW from Modern Therapy. Tori was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda and discuss how common it is to hold onto secrets.

“Keeping secrets can be healthy, and yes, everyone keeps some secrets. For many humans, ‘keeping secrets’ is synonymous with ‘not sharing everything,'” she explained. “By not sharing every thought, word, and action with every person, we are all inherently keeping secrets from someone.”

“What is important is evaluating what you are comfortable with sharing with others and what you would like to be known. We all have boundaries, and maintaining these emotional boundaries (such as not sharing certain information about ourselves), can be labeled as keeping secrets,” the expert added.

#4

That my high-school boyfriend they liked so much severely abused me. I’d never tell them now because I wouldn’t want them to feel guilty for not protecting me.

Image credits: PsychedelicGoat42

#5

I was molested by my older brother.

Image credits: ilovepinkhair

#6

My wife and I married in 2021. Our families believe we got married late last year. We got married (for real) in front of three very good friends who we felt were more deserving of seeing us marry. If either of our families found out they’d be crushed.

Image credits: RennSport5280

When it comes to evaluating if a secret is harmless or needs to be revealed, Tori says we have to assess whether or not there is potential harm to someone. “This can be ourselves, someone else, or people in general. If there is a surprise party happening, and the guest of honor does not know about it, is there much risk of harm to them if we surprise them? No,” she explained.

“If there is someone who is planning on hurting themselves or someone else, or is actively being hurt by someone, is there much risk of harm if we keep it a secret? Yes. Looking at the nature of the secret and whether or not someone could get hurt can be a helpful way to determine whether or not a secret needs to be revealed,” Tori continued. “If there is danger, it is important to go to a trusted authority figure in order to maintain the safety of everyone involved.”

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#7

Dad, I’m sorry but you don’t have as high of an alcohol tolerance as you think. Half of that Tito’s handle was water.

Image credits: gobstop27

#8

I M19 was touched by my male cousin when I was 6 & touched again by a different older male cousin at 16. It felt relieving typing that.

Image credits: Affectionate-Hat8483

#9

That I almost died. I got sick, bad, and it kept getting worse. I told them it was a cold knowing they would drop everything to come check on me, potentially disrupting their lives. I bought plane tickets for them the day after my operation, pretty much knowing I wouldn’t survive.

The hospital staff saved my life, and now every year on the anniversary. I make it a point to send them flowers, the only one who knows is my wife.

Image credits: ElonsMuskyFeet

While people keep secrets from their parents for many reasons, Tori says one common reason is a fear of judgment or potential punishment. “For some people, what they are doing may not be in alignment with their parents’ views or expectations,” she noted.

“This does not always mean what they are doing is harmful – for instance, rooting for the rival of the sports team your parents have rooted for for the past 30 years may not be something advertised, but ultimately doesn’t hurt anybody,” Tori explained. “Parents can withhold information or keep secrets from their children in order to help keep them safe and allow them space to explore their own sense of the world without interference.”

#10

That I did online and full service escort work in college. My mother’s soul would leave her body and I don’t know if it would ever return.

Image credits: techno_milk

#11

I found my mom’s diary from when she was in high school. In it she talks about her infatuation with a classmate named Roman. Roman was (just based on the way she describes him) the biggest f**kboy in the world. He was a total w***e, he wouldn’t commit to my mom but he would flirt with her just enough to lead her on.

**At one point she DID HIS HOMEWORK FOR HIM.**

**I swear to GOD, if I had access to a time machine for just five f*****g minutes, I would use it exclusively to reach back in time and b***h slap my mom REPEATEDLY for being such a sucker for this douchebag.**

Now here’s the worst part…my dad’s name is Roman. He went to the same high school as my mom. But my dad is the kindest, most generous and decent guy I know. Roman is NOT that common a name but I’m trying to convince myself she’s talking about another Roman. Because the guy she’s describing could NOT be my dad.

**EDIT:** It **WAS** my dad she was talking about. I asked my aunt and she confirmed 1. there was no other Roman at their school. 2. my mom was obsessed with my dad in high school.

#12

I got vasectomy, they’ll never get a grandchildren from me.

Image credits: Marchests

“The adage ‘secrets, secrets, are no fun, secrets secrets, hurt someone’ offers some fair insight into not only the popularity of secrets, but also the gauge of when a secret should be revealed,” Tori shared with Bored Panda. “Ultimately, each person is able to choose what they do and do not share with others.”

“Whether it is that you are secretly a fan of Nickelback or that you root for the Red Sox in a Yankee household, most of us have some secret we keep to ourselves,” she added. “If the secret puts someone else at risk, however, it is important to ensure that secret is revealed so that everyone has the opportunity to stay safe.”

#13

That I wasn’t a virgin when I got married. Not by a long shot lol.

Image credits: ericsmith98105

#14

They can never know that I’m homeless. I assume they think I’m doing well but really I’m struggling financially and live out of a computer cafe.

Image credits: NewAppleChip

#15

I brought a horse into the house- accidentally. It came through the hallway, through the kitchen dining room, and back put through the living room. I was scared s**tless it would pee inside, and would be spooked.

Image credits: microcoffee

#16

That in middle school I told them I hated dance after 3 classes when I loved it but knew that we couldn’t afford it. They were trying to pick up extra factory shifts to make it work and it was gutting to see them k**l their body for a small hobby. It’s not their fault. I ended up spending a lot of time outside playing and eventually independently applied for financial aid to join a sport in high school. 

#17

Senior year of highschool, my parents were going out of town one weekend and didn’t trust me home alone so I stayed with my aunt and uncle a few towns over. My friend drove me to school that morning and he was telling me about this girl he was trying to hook up with. I told him my parents would be out of town and that I’d leave him my spare key, he could have a couple people over but I made him promise no more than 10 and nobody leaves the basement.

Fast forward to later that night, I’m walking my aunt and uncles dog. Somebody texted me asking if they could come over, I told them I’m not home and to talk to my friend. Couple minutes later same thing from someone else. Couple minutes later someone from another school asked if they could come to my party. That’s when I first realized I should call my friend and see what’s up.

Turned out the small kickback turned into a full blown rager. Apparently one of the guys he invited ended up inviting the whole soccer team and then it just grew from there.

It was all anyone talked about for a while at school. Neighbors knocked, cops drove by. Best party of the year from what I heard. Most of the people that showed up didn’t even know that I wasn’t there.

Next day my friend and another friend came back to clean up and they heard someone upstairs. It was my mom’s friend coming by to feed the cat. They hid in a closet for a bit until it was clear.

Despite all that, to this day my parents somehow have no idea any of this happened. I was on edge about it for months after the fact. The part I’ve always found funniest/most ironic is the fact that if they had left me home alone that weekend then none of this would have happened.

We’re 26 now. He’s still my best friend. If I remember correctly he did end up hooking up with that girl that night. The cat was safe (he lives with me now). I still give him s**t about this.

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#18

That they’re partly the reason why I don’t date and have never really gotten into a relationship. There are other reasons, but they are part of it as well.

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#19

That I love them but desperately wish they’d never had me.

Image credits: LadySygerrik

#20

That I don’t want to see them anymore. I want to finish schooling to get a good career, pick up my dogs from them, and not talk to them anymore. My grandparents have supported me the last few years and I am so much happier and healthier living with them. Sorry Dad, I can’t do it anymore.

#21

The full extent of my criminal activity from about ages 16-28. I never got caught and I never really hurt anyone, but I was a troubled youth/young adult that struggled both with money and mental health issues so I lashed out. Not my mom’s fault at all and it would k**l her to know EVERYTHING, she knows I wasn’t squeaky clean since my teen years, hell, I’m not squeaky clean now, but I have a career and apartment and cars and credit. It took a long time to get here though. Sometimes i tell her about some of the smaller stuff early on and she’s just glad im not doing that stuff anymore.

#22

My mom takes me on vacation to the Caribbean area sometimes (we stay at resorts) around once every 1-2 years. We went at the end of last year, and I realized I was only really enjoying myself when I wasn’t around her. She wants to spend almost all walking hours together. When she’s drunk, she makes baseless assumptions and doesn’t accept the possibility that they could be (and are) wrong. So, on the days that she got day drunk, I’d make sure she got in bed safely, and I’d go out and actually have fun.

She asked me for destinations that I’d like to go to, and I just told her that I don’t think I want to travel for now. The truth is that I don’t want to travel with her.

#23

I *begged* my mom to allow me to go tanning as a teenager. She reluctantly relented. FWIW, if I could go back in time and make a different choice, I absolutely would.

At 30, I got diagnosed with melanoma. Caught early and removed – nice scar but no chemo. I now go to the dermatologist every six months and have had several atypical moles removed since. But I will never, ever tell her why the scar on my leg is so big.

(PS – get your skin checked, kids).

#24

I downloaded dozens of movies I would never be allowed to watch using the churches WiFi. I’d download them, watch them late at night, delete them, and find the next movie. This is how I watched The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy, and all of the Harry Potter movies for the first time since I was a toddler. Looking back it’s one of the more mild things I did as a teen, but it would be the worst thing in mom’s mind. The repercussions of knowing I lost my virginity at 14 weren’t nearly as bad it would be if she knew I had been downloading movies like Gladiator or Kingdom of Heaven and using the churches internet lmao. Ohhhh boy if she knew that’s how I watched the Alien movies for the first time lmao.

Image credits: Too_Caffinated

#25

Well,they’re both gone so I can say it now. I hated the way I was forced to look after them. Then on top of that I was bullied and teased and tortured at school and they didn’t care about that. As long as I was there to do everything that’s all they cared about. I felt unloved. Then after I grew up my mom decided she just wasn’t gonna do anything anymore and she didn’t. I HATED ALL OF THAT. THEY WERE THE PARENTS NOT ME. Then they explained it by saying that that’s the way it is and everyone does this. Now I have a brother and a sister who are on disability. In the future I won’t be doing what I did before. Sorry for the rant but I had to get that out.

#26

As a teenager, I started a pretty serious fire in the garage playing with gasoline that I somehow got put out and cleaned up the mess before they ever found out. And I used to sneak the cars out and go racing up in the hills, stating when I was 14.

Image credits: WontCumInUrMouth

#27

That I’m a gay woman trying to quietly date other women. I had two very serious relationships with men that lasted 10 years and 2 years, so they just think I’d rather be single. But in reality, I’d love to have a girlfriend or a wife.

Image credits: power2encourage

#28

My mom hooked sometimes when we didn’t have enough money.

My parents got divorced when I was 3 and then got remarried when I was 10. After they got divorced , dad got sent overseas for 3 years and we moved back to my mother’s home town. This was in the early 70’s and we lived in section 8 apartments and my older brother’s father from her previous marriage didn’t pay any child support, my dad paid as much child support as he could afford, but before Reagan a Senior Airman didn’t make anywhere near enough to support the three of us living apart from him. Even when they were together he had to work a part time job just to make ends meet.

So while they remained divorced we had very little money and sometimes by the last week of the month the cupboards would be bare unless mom was able to “do some sewing for a friend of hers.” She also would go out on a Friday night and leave us withe my aunt and then we would go grocery shopping the next day despite being told two days before that we didn’t have enough money to go shopping. I was too young to know what was actually going on at the time but when I was in my early twenties, I finally put two and two together and realized that she had been part time hooking to make ends meet.

I know my dad didn’t know about it and I never let my mom know that I knew what she had to do for us.

#29

The full extent of my disabilities. My mother has *a lot* of opinions about mental illness mainly that they don’t exist.

*Luckily* I also have a brain tumor, so she understands somewhat that I can’t work full time but is still angry that I’m not working part-time at the very least.

#30

I moved out to have an easier time having sex. They are very religious, one time, my mom found an a***plug in my room and grounded me for two weeks. They would probably disown me if they found out I have sex at all.

#31

When they’re buried, I’m checking out. I’m only sticking around because I feel I’m obligated to care for them as they age.

Edit: Whichever one of you beautiful bastards reported me to Reddit Cares, I know which way the help desk is. I’m just more interested in the exit door.

#32

My mom has never been intelligent. My sister and I think she is around 6th grade level mentality, and I couldn’t really tell growing up because we were homeschooled and isolated/neglected until high-school so we didn’t see much of what a “normal” mom was like until we were well into adulthood.

She can’t comprehend complex conversations and I find myself dumbing down what I say to her so she can understand. She doesn’t know how to have an original thought and just copies other people’s exact words in comment sections on social media.

Over the last several years I’ve been distancing myself, because I hold a huge grudge over my childhood being traumatic and my mom never being there for me or being helpful in any way. She’s self centered and emotionally immature and it’s exhausting being around her.

#33

The real reason my wife and I are divorcing is because we can’t stop doing d***s together, we’ve been enabling each other for about two years, and doing the d***s to the point that they really became the only thing we had in common. We tried to get clean and did well for 6 months before relapsing at a friend’s party a couple of weekends ago. She blamed me and left with he kids two days later with no warning. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through and my parents have no idea why it happened. I got into therapy and am determined to stay sober this time, forever. But I think it’s too late for our marriage.

#34

When i was 16, i got away with a grand scheme™ to avoid being grounded forever. i had strict parents so i hid most things but this one was a big big deal because it was something i’d get in a LOT of trouble for and i was supposed to go on a school trip to New York a few weeks later and i knew they’d take that away from me.

the story is long but it involved intercepting facebook messages, pretending to be my mom on the phone when my friend’s mom called to snitch, and lots and lots of lying.

i might tell them eventually but it’s kinda getting funnier the longer i wait.

oh also i got a tattoo on my a*s when i turned 18.

#35

When I got old enough to Google, I wrote an anonymous letter to get a restraining order on my dad so he could no longer abuse my mom. Like my mom wrote it, is what I’m trying to say. Didn’t end well, she ended up taking him back and becoming pretty abusive herself. Dad’s now dead & I went no contact with my mother a year ago.

#36

My mom will never know that the night my best friend died it was because I k***ed him in self defense. Or that I spent a lot of nights in the room next to hers with a gun in my mouth trying to summon the balls to end it all. I will add that I’m good now and have gotten past it.

#37

I’m engaged to a transgender woman at age 18 after one year of dating her. my parents are transphobic/homophobic, and traditional. they wouldn’t approve at all.

someday i’ll have to come clean i’m sure, but i plan to do so once i have a sufficient buffer in terms of money/distance. despite the uncertainty of keeping this from them, i’m happy. i love my fiancée so much. i wouldn’t trade her for anything.

#38

I donated my eggs to a friend and she has twins now.

#39

My wife and I decided to give our second child up for adoption when we found out he had Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. There was just no way that we could provide the resources to give him the best possible chance and life. We found a great family that couldn’t have children and did all the legal stuff. We had to tell my parents that my wife was pregnant and that we weren’t keeping it all in one conversation, which broke my mom’s heart. I think it was because it was going to be a boy, so he would “Carry on the family name.” I think this is archaic, plus we aren’t royalty or famous. Idk

Later in the pregnancy, my wife’s doctor told us that there is a good chance that any future child we have will also have HLHS, which makes our daughter a mirabcle tbh. So, my wife and I discussed more permanent birth control methods and decided that a vasectomy would be the best option.

I think that was ~2 years ago that I got the procedure done. I don’t know that I will NEVER tell them, but I don’t have any plans to.

#40

They’re morons. They can never know because they don’t have the capacity for self-awareness.

#41

I’m not gonna marry or have kids of my own which they probably have in back of their minds
No sirrrr I’m too much to handle , I can’t even handle myself therefore noway planning to add more trouble into my life lol.

#42

What my grandpa did to me. My dad is gone now and I’ll never tell my mom.

#43

They failed as parents I still love them but I sometimes I think them as just my responsibility.

#44

That I was sharing a bed with my husband (then bf) before marriage,
that I smoke stuff they won’t approve of ?
and I eat beef (it’s against my religion).

But they were very strict as parents so now I know I can do anything I like, just hide it from them. What they don’t know can’t hurt them right?.

#45

I found my dad’s p**n collection in our family pc.

He created so many folders and sub folders without knowing I can search it instantly. And when I found it out. **I added more of his collection lol.** when he noticed that he had more files. he immediately moved it to other folders which i know already lol.
Source: boredpanda.com

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