"My Parents Would Lose It If They Knew": People Are Spilling The Secrets They'll Never Tell Their Parents, And It's A Lot To Unpack

We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community if anyone was willing to confess to us a secret they're keeping from their parents. Here's what people shared:

1."That the reason I have so many followers on Instagram is because of the more adult content I post. I identify as a cisgender gay man, and I do porn/OnlyFans content creation. I have received free products from brands and recently flew to Las Vegas, but told my parents it was for 'modeling.' I am not ashamed of what I do and have a really great relationship with my parents, but they don't need to know about my private activities."


2."I have two tattoos! Unless they find out because I accidentally reveal them (they are on places on my body that are hidden by clothing unless I’m wearing a bathing suit or something, and even then, I try to dress conservatively around them), I don’t plan on telling them. They are definitely against tattoos, but never gave any clear reasons why, and I’m old enough to decide for myself what I want for my body. I just don’t want to fight with them about it."


A heart tattoo on someone's forearm
Moonluz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3."I found out through DNA testing that my first cousin was actually my uncle. His kids were my first cousins. I couldn't understand how that happened. Long story short: My 'aunt H' was my mom's eldest sister. Aunt H had married 'Joe Blo' in the '50s when my mom was a kid. It turned out the aunt H had had an affair when she was 18 with Joe Blo while he was married to his first wife. Aunt H got pregnant with my mom. When aunt H had my mom, she gave her to her own mother, who I grew up calling grandma, to raise. Everybody involved except for my mom is dead. My mom is 72 and has COPD and heart failure, and while she's doing better now, I am never telling her about this."

"I can't risk what the shock would do to her health. Side note: Joe Blo was an abusive alcoholic. Mom could not take finding out that that abusive a-hole was her actual father. It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but there's nothing good that could come from telling my mom who her real parents were and how she grew up living such a lie."


4."I confessed my romantic feelings over text to a teacher when I was 14."


A young girl texting on her phone
The Good Brigade / Getty Images

5."I was sexually harassed at a job and fired for it. They've never asked why I stopped working there, and I won't tell."


6."I had my first kiss with the guy my parents said 'wouldn't be interested in me.' He initiated it and asked to see me again. We have been together for 17 years and counting. They also don't know that."


Two people kissing in the sunset
Urbazon / Getty Images

7."That I'm nonbinary. I tried to introduce my new name to them as a nickname (it's not too far off my deadname), and they lost it at the thought of me changing my gender. Yeah, back into the closet with that one around them."


8."My bisexuality. While I'm recognized as a heterosexual male and few people would question otherwise, over the past 40+ years, I've engaged in sexual liaisons with, at last count, over 50 partners, pretty evenly divided between males and females. Sure, no big deal nowadays, but we're talking about the mid-'70s as my springboard into sexual debauchery. I've always been hyper-sexual, fueled in no small part by my later-diagnosed bipolar disorder. Sex has always been my drug of choice. My octogenarian parents have no knowledge of my life's secret. If my mom found out, she'd likely adjust. But, if my homophobic dad learned of my less-than-hetero interests and experiences, he'd disown me in a heartbeat, if not outright kill me."


Someone wearing a rainbow flag
Miguel Sotomayor / Getty Images

9."My mom has wanted grandkids, so I will never, ever tell her that I had an abortion at 19. Now, I'm pregnant again in my 30s, and I hopefully don't have to tell her that I don't know who the father of my baby is."


10."I will never tell my parents that I had an affair during my first marriage. My current husband knows about that mistake, but my parents? Absolutely not."


A man and woman holding hands behind her partner's back
Jackyenjoyphotography / Getty Images

11."I did ketamine therapy for my depression earlier this year. My mom knows I’ve been taking antidepressants since I was 17 and begrudgingly accepts it. I told my dad at some point, but I think he thinks I’ve stopped taking them. But both of my parents would FREAK if they found out I had IV injections of ketamine. The psychiatrist at the clinic has a son around my age (24), and when he asked if I’d told my parents and I said no, he replied, 'Well, you’re an adult. That’s your decision to make.' One thing that worries me is that the insurance claim for my treatment is still being processed, and since I’m under 25, I’m still on my parents’ insurance (which is registered to their address). The copays are all charged to my card, but I’m terrified they’ll get some kind of insurance form in the mail from the clinic and find out about all of it."


12."That the first time I got really drunk was when I was 14. Honestly, my mother's insistence and effort to prevent me from doing it only made me seize the opportunity that much more. My parents still think it happened with them when I was 17. If only."


Glasses of beer on a bar
Jack Andersen / Getty Images

13."I've never told my parents that I've had a miscarriage. 1. I don't want the pity. 2. I don't want to hear my mother say 'I told you so.' I know it sounds cruel, but being a heavy drug user and smoker has taken its toll, and with our family's history against me, I was never going to have a kid, EVER. But, I'm OK. Turns out I don't want kids."


14."I crashed my mom's car. Not really a 'crash,' but I was in college, and my mom had this nice car. She would let me drop her off at work in it, and I could take it to my classes. I was studying in the library at my college one day, but I was upset and left. The parking lot was full as I was backing out. The car had a backup camera, but I didn’t use it, and I backed into the car on the other side of the aisle. I got out and saw no mark on the other car, but my car had a dent. I went to pick up my mom and never said a thing. She found out about the dent and was upset. I still didn’t say a thing. Years later, my mom signed the car off to me, and I still haven’t said a word about it."


A dent on a car
Bgwalker / Getty Images

15."My 'perfect golden child' little sister is actually the one who pressured me into poor decisions in high school. She would always set me up to take the fall. AND she was on a 'spicy' list made by her peers for inappropriate pictures. My mother's heart would simply cease to beat."


16."My friend came and visited a few years ago when I was separated from my husband. She brought edibles, and I ate TWO ENTIRE cookies and got high off my butt. I was high for hours and freaked out. I sobbed about being arrested and how I wanted my mom. I’m a teacher and a mother. My parents would lose it if they knew that I knowingly consumed marijuana."


A stack of cookies with marijuana buds around them
Lauripatterson / Getty Images

17."I will never tell my parents that, on a long weekend when they went on vacation to Las Vegas, I ended up taking ecstasy and having sex in all positions throughout their bedroom with a guy I'd recently started dating. Hey, what can I say? They had the biggest bed in the house."


18."I've had a three-way with two guys. Twice."


Three pairs of feet peeking out from a blanket
Eric O'connell / Getty Images

19."I lost my virginity on their couch."


20."The first time I went out with my now-husband, I was still living with my parents. My husband and I decided we didn't want to say goodbye after the first date, so I brought him home...for the whole weekend. My parents were out of town and are very anti-premarital sex. Fourteen years later, they still don't know he was there for a wild weekend."


A man and woman in bed together
Tom Merton / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21."I can never tell them I had an abortion when I was 31. And, I can never tell them that I dated women behind their backs. They wouldn't disown me, but my mom would likely have some degree of a meltdown over the abortion in particular, and they'd hold it against me until I die. I don't feel some great need to let them know, but sometimes, I feel salty that I never could and never will be open and honest with them about some things."


22."My mother can never know she's my biggest trigger."


A tear rolling down someone's face
Yuichiro Chino / Getty Images

23."I will never tell my mother that I cannot stand her. She has narcissistic personality disorder and is the most hateful person I’ve ever met. She's negative, mean, thinks she’s the only person alive, and has no empathy or compassion (for me, a disabled person, or anyone else). But, the reason I won’t tell her is not to spare her feelings; she has none, and this would not hurt her. I won’t tell her because she can use 'my daughter hates me' to gain sympathy from other people."


24."They don't know just how bad my college grades were before I dropped out. At the time, I was dealing with some serious issues that were related to my undiagnosed anxiety and depression, and that made it difficult for me to keep up in class. They keep trying to push me back into classes to finish my degree, and I'm afraid that the grades I have are so poor that I won't be able to get back where I was."


A big F on an assignment
Icemanj / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25."I'll never tell my parents that I hate them. They should have never had kids, and they messed all of us up (three kids) to the point where none of us are independent, financially or otherwise, even in our 30s, because they were too busy telling us not to plan for anything due to the end of the world."


26."That I got sacked from a barmaid job when I was 18 because I was drunk on the job. We received 'tips' in the form of half-pints. On that night, I had received eight pints worth of tips that I stupidly drank in front of the customers to make them happy. I didn't do anything weird; I was just visibly buzzed. The other reason was that they hadn't declared me officially as an employee, and a work inspector was planning a visit soon, but I guess the drunk part was a good excuse."


Beers on a bar
Krisanapong Detraphiphat / Getty Images

27."I’d never tell them about the casual hookups and the friend-with-benefits situations I had in my mid-to-late 20s. I lived with them into my early 20s, and they’d get excited and want to meet every guy I was only mildly interested in or had just met, then they'd want to give their opinions. So, once I moved out, I stopped telling them if I was seeing anyone. It’s better for them to think I’m just perpetually single. I kind of am now, anyway."


28.And: "My parents divorced later in life. When they explained their decision, they said it was due to 'growing apart' and 'living too much like roommates for too long.' Basically, they were giving anyone who asked all the usual vague ‘we’re getting a divorce’ stock phrases, as if they were some A-list celebrity couple trying to stave off the press. A few months after my parents dropped this bombshell (but before finalizing their divorce), I overheard my mother confide in a family friend about my father's alcoholism and various affairs (and how she deliberately looked the other way for years). Despite my efforts, I found no evidence to back these claims, and all I really have is her word."

"It’s been almost eight years since they officially split up, and they have no idea that I know. I don’t know if my siblings, extended family members, or my father's new partner have any idea either. If the truth publicly gets out anyway, I don’t want to be the one to tell it."


Do you have a secret you'll never tell your parents? 🤫

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.