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25 Anonymous Secrets People Had To Get Off Their Chest This Year

I write a lot about secrets people are keeping on this website, and the best ones are always sent to me anonymously. I can't include every secret in every post, which means I've been sitting on a whole bunch of secrets...

person saying, hey hey hey your secret is safe in the vault of secrets
USA Network

...that I'm now ready to let out. Here are the wildest, most heartbreaking, and most shocking never-before-told secrets I'm unearthing from the vault. Read on at your own risk.

NOTE: These entries contain mentions of abuse, sexual assault, and drug use.

1."I lost my virginity at 13 to a bored housewife. Small town in Northwest Arkansas, I had a newspaper home delivery route, and usually collected the last week of the month. Her husband was a long-haul truck driver for a nationally known company. ... He was usually home three days every two weeks. One month I came by to collect and she didn’t have cash to pay, didn’t want to write a check, and asked if I could let it slide for a month. I felt bad so I carried her. Next month same story. Third month I said nope, I can’t continue this, so she asked me to come inside and discuss. She basically propositioned me to ‘teach me all about women’ if I would let her slide paying for the paper."

"Turns out she was using a lot of what household cash he gave her for booze and drugs and ran short near the last of the month. So for two years once a week, I got a sexual education for $10 A month. I think my dad suspected something was going on with her; he made some veiled comments two or three times. He had seen my pickup parked near her house, but I had classmates also living in the area. Sadly, when I was in college, her husband died in a crash, and she died of alcohol and drugs a few years later."

—Anonymous

2."I once tried to poison my ex-husband. We were not getting along; the marriage was hard. He became abusive and controlling and had a lot of other girlfriends. If I talked about it he would become violent towards me and my son. I (in a moment of weakness) started adding tiny amounts of slug bait to his food. He used to travel for work a lot and when he was home he would become 'ill.' Once I accidentally added a bit too much poison to his food and he become really sick for a couple of days. It scared me...I guess I came to my senses. I stopped after that and told him to move out (that's a whole other story). If I got caught who would raise my son? (That's what made me come to my senses.) I've told four people in my whole life. I still don't talk about it."

—Anonymous

person saying, you poisoned me, i don't know you
The WB

3."I moved abroad after graduating from high school. My mom had started a new relationship during the time I was away and I knew that when I was coming back home I was gonna leave for college again, so I never got to really meet the guy she was hanging out with nor his son, until we went to the beach as a new family' and got drunk. The son and I almost had sex, but my sister was in the same room."

"She heard us making out and made us stop immediately. (THANK GOD) I left for college after that summer and have only returned twice ever since. My mom got married to his dad and every time I come back he’s always trying to 'finish what we started' — I have never given in, plus he has two children of his own now. Also, this guy actually fucked my best friend to which he had to admit to my mom and his dad cuz of an apparent STD. Imagine how my mom would react if she knew I had hooked up with him as well."

—Anonymous

4."A member of our church congregation tried to groom me starting when I was 16. I say 'tried to' because I knew something was off about a grown-ass married man trying to be my friend, and he never actually succeeded at his end game of getting me into a threesome with him and his wife. My parents have no idea, and my dad especially can never find out. That would result in one of two outcomes: him saying it's my fault because I came out as bisexual as a teenager, or him trying to kill the man who groomed me. I can't handle either of those consequences."

—Anonymous

5."I had an abortion at 18 years old. I had this relentless crush on this guy I met and the sex was out of this world. We had always used protection until we didn’t...later I found out he had an official girlfriend that was in college overseas. I became really depressed when I found out I was pregnant and asked him to help me pay for the abortion. He said he would but after we spoke he totally ghosted me."

"One of my girlfriends from college helped me cover the cost of the abortion and I have never regretted that decision. I didn’t want to have a child at 18. Having that abortion allowed me to earn my college degree, study abroad as an exchange student and become a professional. Later, I had my only daughter with my first husband. She was desired, planned and loved…and of course still is. The only people that know about my abortion is my college friend and my first husband and I will never tell anybody else. I was raised by my grandparents and me getting pregnant at 18 out of wedlock would have devastated them, but worse than that, my grandmother would have been furious, since she came from a very religious family."

—Anonymous

6."When my wife was just my girlfriend, I was a groomsman in a good friend’s wedding. We did the wedding, the reception, and then finally out to a bar for drinks after. Well, the groom got so drunk he passed out and had to be carried back to the bridal suite. Meanwhile, the bride stayed with the rest of us and kept drinking. One thing lead to another and my girlfriend and I had a threesome with my friend’s bride on their wedding night."

—Anonymous

woman hugging a man saying it'll be our little secret
Paramount Pictures

7."I've been addicted to heroin since 2017. In 2019 I was diagnosed with cancer and used heroin the entire time, along with taking 150 Dilaudid a month, Klonopin, and Ambien. I almost died several times throughout my cancer treatment. Somehow I managed to beat cancer and have been in remission for a year and a half. I am still addicted to heroin, but I'm going into treatment next month and I'm so excited to move on from this addiction so I can really have a new start in life. If my mom ever found out about my addiction, it would destroy her. I feel guilty about it every day."

—Anonymous

8."I was sexually molested by this old man as a child. I was around 10 or 11 when it started. We never really had much at home. This all started when my sisters and I would clean buildings for and with him. My dad started calling him my godfather. Somehow I began watching his granddaughter around 12 and he would come mess with me when we would be asleep. Now I'm friends with one of his older granddaughters...I never told my parents and will never tell her. She didn’t molest me. I have moved on, but I still remember. He’s dead now, so I win."

—Anonymous

9."Our family doctor started to sexually abuse me from about the age of 14 through my high school years. I knew it was wrong, but never mentioned it to my family because this doctor was, and still is, the chosen one for almost literally saving my older brother's life. He has since died, but my mother still sings his praises about his wonderful he is. I cannot bring myself to tell her or my brother the truth."

—Anonymous

10."When I was a teenager, we lived a 20-minute walk from my aunt and uncle's mansion. My aunt was selfish. She'd assign me and my father chores the minute we walked in the door. Her kids (the oldest was six years younger than me) would kick my shins the entire time. When they were at our home, their kids would jump on furniture, break things, steal things, and lie (in addition to shin-kicking) and their mother thought her kids could do no wrong. We'd often have to go their home for lunch on Saturdays and my mother was always very nervous about it. One Saturday when I was 15, I decided to get revenge on that family. I went into my aunt/uncle's bedroom, took some of her jewelry, and placed it in my cousin's underwear drawer. Then I took some of her makeup items and a pair of her panties and hid them in another drawer (so she'd think he was wearing them)."

"Later, when I didn't feel like babysitting her kids, I said, 'Evan is a pervert, the last time he was at my house I saw him in my mother's bathroom putting on her lipstick, and everyone knows he likes wearing your panties.' It was all bullshit, but I knew she wasn't going to start questioning him about something that was a taboo. A short time later, Evan was sent to boarding school where things didn't go well. He ran away three times; on the third time, he got struck and killed by a car on the highway. My aunt couldn't take it and had a nervous breakdown. My uncle couldn't take it either and started drinking. Then he drove drunk, injured someone, and got sued, plus he got fired from his law firm. They lost their house, the next oldest son had a drug problem and ended up in jail at 16 for breaking into houses. The kids climbed back up out of poverty but it took years. I later found out that they saw the stuff I stashed in the drawer, figured the oldest had done it, and sent him to boarding school because of it. I only intended to tell them the truth if I ever had the urge to hurt them again, but so far I haven't. I feel no guilt for it. They were greedy and selfish to begin with."

—Anonymous

woman saying, i'm not sorry
Hulu

11."My dad used to threaten to swap me with an orphan who would be more grateful for the life I had. Since that option was on the table, I started acting out (intentionally lying, talking back, making a nuisance of myself when company was over, misbehaving in school, etc.) in hopes he would make good on the threat. My poor mom had to deal with a lot of those behaviors, and I know it was stressful for her. I don't think she really knows how bad things were with my dad, and he's dead now anyway. I don't know if it would be better to confess that I had done those things to get sent away or if I should just let her keep believing I was/am a shitty person."

—Anonymous

12."My ex-husband was having an affair for two years behind my back with a girl half his age — he met her when he went back to college. We were married for 20 years and had a 10-year-old daughter. One day, he upped and left while we were out shopping and left me a lipstick note on our bathroom mirror and his ring by the sink."

"I was devastated. He married her less than a year after our divorce and moved her in two weeks after he kicked my daughter and I out of our home. It’s been nine years and I am still suffering and I just can’t let go. I still miss him terribly even though it’s been so long. My daughter who is now turning 19 is the only one who knows how much I miss him and sees me still cry for him all the time. It must be so hard for her to see me like this when she is still suffering too. I feel terrible for her but I just can’t move on."

—Anonymous

13."My brother had a bachelor party a few weeks before his wedding. My cousin attended, but I didn't as I was out of the country. Turns out the brother of the bride brought a ton of coke and weed to the bachelor party, and ordered sex workers. Two came and a few of the guys went into the rooms with them, even my brother. ... My cousin was so shocked that he ended up leaving. My brother was worried he would snitch so he ... contacted him first thing in the morning and asked him if he remembered anything from last night; of course he said no as he was scared of potential threats. My brother called him a few times to make sure he wouldn't say anything and said that it would be a big problem for my cousin if he did. My cousin obviously told me right away."

"Since then I have lost all respect for my brother but I still keep in touch with him out of familial obligation. I was never that disgusted or horrified of someone's choices until then. His poor wife doesn't know to this day. To make things worse, one of his friends had a bachelor party and the same thing happened again that my brother took part in while married. I never looked at him the same way again."

—Anonymous

14."I picked my teenage sister up from out of state when she ran away from our mother’s house because she was being abused. My mom still doesn’t know it was me 20+ years later."

—Anonymous

woman saying, i helped her, she needed my help
The CW

15."I was raped by my uncle when I was 17, with my aunt downstairs and my cousin (his daughter) sleeping on the floor with my sister (I was sleeping on a futon). Him and my aunt had just come home from a date night and he wasn’t even drunk or anything. I’m 30 now, and I’ve never said a word about it to my mom. No one in the family knows."

—Anonymous

16."My secret is that I am still with my boyfriend of five years, and that we have been intimate. My parents threatened to take away my college tuition after we got caught making out after school when we were still in high school, and my mother still hates him two years later. She refuses to believe I was a willing participant in the aforementioned making out despite me telling her so repeatedly (she also called me a whore for kissing him before marriage, but that’s a story for another time). She constantly comments about how much better my life is without him in it to this day, not knowing we are still very much together and in love."

I" also suspect racism plays a part at some subconscious level, although I only have circumstantial evidence. It has never explicitly been said, but my family is from the deep South originally and white. My boyfriend is Black. Draw what conclusions from that you will. In short, the whole situation is a mess as far as it pertains to my parents. I hate keeping this a secret, but I can’t tell them yet because I cannot afford college on my own and that is the only way I can have the career I want. My boyfriend knows and although we both hate the secrecy and having to sneak around, he agrees it’s for the best at the moment. We plan to tell them as soon as I graduate (I will be one year behind him because my program is five years not four). Once that’s done, the ball is in their court as to whether they want to have a relationship with us or not. They cannot stop us; we will be getting married whether they like it or not. Also I’m both nonbinary and bisexual, and if my parents ever found out that particular secret they would absolutely disown me. That’s conservative Christians for you, though."

—Anonymous

17."Many moons ago, my senior year in college, a friend of mine and I went bar hopping. Five beers and three long island iced teas later, I made the STUPID decision to drive. Six blocks later, I hit a large black parked truck at about 30mph. I asked my pal if he was okay. Knowing if I got stopped, it'd be a sure fire DUI at the least. Hence, I took off. By the grace of God, we made it home safely. The next day I assessed the damage to my vehicle (which I'd recently paid off). The hood looked like a crumpled potato chip. My mom was on her way over to take me out to lunch. Lucky for me, I convinced her someone must have crashed into my car over night (I moved it to a place where it could have happened before my mom arrived. After which, she convinced our insurance co of the same. They covered it and our rates stayed the same. To this day, my pal and I are the only ppl who knew what happened that brisk fall night 35+ years ago."

"I was extremely fortunate and I no longer drink."

—Anonymous

18."When I was married to my former husband, I found out he was cheating. I didn't tell him I knew. He just so happened to be allergic to spray starch. I secretly sprayed the starch heavily on every single pair of his underwear. He was itching so bad he actually went to the doctor because he thought he had an STD. He had to admit he was cheating and he moved out the following weekend. Sorry, not sorry."

—Anonymous

woman in a car saying, i know he's cheating on me
HBO

19."I was sexually assaulted my first year of college by someone my best friend (at the time) introduced me to. I was newly out as a queer man and navigating my identity after coming from a small, conservative town, and being forced to come out. At the time, I didn't think of this as an assault since it included a lot of gaslighting, emotional manipulation, and beliefs that I was the one at fault, not him. The years following resulted in a lot of shame, guilt, and body dysmorphia which I'm still reconciling with 10 years later. I haven't told my parents about the assault and I don't think I ever will."

"We have a very close relationship since I moved out for college and I spent many years answering their questions about my sexuality, supporting them in understanding what being queer means to me. I don't think telling them about the assault would hurt our relationship, but I know they would spin it into making it about them, as they did when I came out. They would say things like, 'Why didn't you tell us before?,' 'Why don't you trust us?,' 'Are we not good enough parents for you to be honest with us?' So much time has past that I don't think telling them would serve a purpose anymore, but I believe this was the start of me pulling away from them in some aspects. While we're close, I'm more selective as to what I share with them, particularly in regards to dating/relationships. I haven't told them about my body dysmorphia or resulting eating disorder, as I know for certain they couldn't handle it (they've told me this directly). Sometimes I imagine cutting all ties with them, but I know that would do more harm than good."

—Anonymous

20."I was sexually abused by my first serious boyfriend in high school and it destroyed my idea of sexuality. For years I stayed away from sex and that trauma always stayed with me. My sex life is still very fucked up. My parents can never know about this because it will destroy them. They never liked that guy and wanted to protect me. I was depressed and my parents took me to therapist and never knew the reasons for my depression; they always thought it was because of my grades dipping."

—Anonymous

21."I spent almost two years being in love with a 55-year-old, married man. (I’m 26 years his junior for reference). Eventually, he divorced his wife for me. However, he cheated on me with a friend of mine (25 at the time). We all ended up getting a house together. Within three months the entire thing imploded. It’s my greatest shame and embarrassment. I don’t plan on ever telling my boyfriend."

—Anonymous

older man saying he's too old to be dating the younger woman he's dating
Paramount Network

22."I had an abortion at 22 and still living with my parents. I never thought I'd get one, but unfortunately I put myself in a shitty situation. Paid for it myself with a little help from my boyfriend at the time — thankfully he was super supportive even though it probably wasn't his (yeah, shitty situation). My family is conservative Christian so I will never tell them. I don't regret my decision and it's been seven years now; they don't need to know."

—Anonymous

23."I once was snooping around in my parents' room and found a 10 to 20 page manuscript my dad wrote (seemed to be written for my mom) and somewhere in it he mentioned how my mom got her tubes tied after having my younger sister. I have kept that to myself this whole time."

—Anonymous

24."When I was 14/15 years old, I found out my father was cheating on my mom. She worked in ER overnight (12 to 16 hour shifts) and he would leave while she was gone and come back an hour before my mom would get home from work. Fast forward a year later, my father’s mistress’s daughter called my mom to tell her what was going on. Turns out he’d been cheating on my mom for five years and was practically raising his mistress’s daughters. It’s been 17 years and my mom still has no clue that I knew. My mom left my father and has now been happily married for 14 years to an amazing man who I consider my dad. Even though she’s happy and has been living her best life, I don’t have the heart to tell her."

—Anonymous

woman apologizing
Screen Gems

25.And finally, let's end on one that's a bit lighter/more petty: "I wore a beautiful white dress to my sisters wedding because I was so pissed off she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid. She has no idea that was my reason behind it and she did approve it but still, I know wedding etiquette and I did it through spite."

—Anonymous

Got anything else to get off your chests? Let us know in the comments or via this anonymous form.

Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.