If someone found out your biggest secret, how would you feel? It’s probably a little stressful to imagine because the hardest part of keeping a secret is thinking about it all the time.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the average person has 13 secrets right now. Five of those secrets, they will take to the grave. People are resilient, strong, and capable of more than we think possible, and that allows us to carry the weight of everything from banal gossip to concealed knowledge of infidelity, crimes, and the deepest darkest thoughts.
Sometimes we keep the biggest secrets to protect others from being hurt–like when parents keep secrets from kids. Other times we’re motivated by embarrassment, possible jail time, or the threat of being ostracized. But it turns out that keeping secrets is actually quite bad for you.
Psychology Today surmises that there are two aspects of secrecy that hurts us the most: the pain suffered from keeping it under wraps and the stress of hiding it from people you don’t want to tell. Painful secrets can adversely affect someone’s mental health, as they become all-consuming and infiltrate daily thoughts.
Some people have found a way to avoid this: confessing anonymously to Reddit.
Open and truthful confessions can not only reduce this type of pent up stress but also help someone deal with the event that they’ve buried for so long.
We gathered some of the wildest admissions on the internet from people who may never tell these embarrassing stories, habits, and confessions to another soul.
1. Undercover Drag Queen
You better work! Correction: *werk! While drag queens have entered mainstream pop culture over the last few years, thanks to the success of RuPaul’s Drag Race, many still keep this part of their lives under wraps.
“I do drag,” one Reddit user declares.
“None of my family know [and] only a few of my friends know.” It all happened after one night they “put the dress on, got glammed up and went [on stage] and lipsynced my heart out. I had such a good time I went back the next week to work out my own act.”
2. Hidden Home
Secret bunkers aren’t just useful for avoiding natural disasters or the impending apocalypse.
“Two and a half years ago I was in dire financial straights, so I sold my home to keep my struggling business afloat,” one Reddit user admitted. But there was a catch.
“I neglected to tell the owners that they have 800 square foot bunker on the property that I built about seven years ago.”
Complete with a secret entrance that is “well-hidden” they confess that they still live there, making sure to arrive either very early or late in the day. “I love this hidden paradise so much.”
3. A New Identity
Have you ever dreamt of moving somewhere and pretending to be another person? Redditor Tomgoldaccount did just that.
“I cut off all contact with everyone I know and moved to Kenya,” he divulged.
“I tell people a fake name, a fake background, and have made it appear to my family that I died on a boat trip in the Pacific. No, I am not joking. I am dead in the United States.” Could you fake your own death to live a carefree life somewhere else?
4. Taking Ferris Bueller’s Day Off To A Whole New Level
We’ve all played hooky at least once in our lives, but probably not for years. Redditor AwayIThrowThis did, though. In fact, they got away with it for over five years.
“I faked having a chronic pain condition for 5.5 years to not have to attend middle school and high school.”
“I was placed on a home-bound program — NOT homeschooling — and allowed to study at my own pace from home. I was able to fool a team of medical professionals, my family, my teachers, and my friends into believing that my symptoms were real.”
“Also, I racked up over $100,000 in medical bills for my family.”
“That’s just what the insurance didn’t cover) during those 5.5 years. I did not realize the extent of the medical bills until late into my lie and it was one of the main reasons I decided enough was enough. Upon graduating from high school and getting accepted into a good university, I decided that it was time for my “pain” to go away.”
“No one has questioned the fact that my symptoms vanished over night.”
“My medical team attributed it to the fact that I was nearing the end of puberty. What I did was a [terrible] thing, and my family is continuing to drown in debt from medical bills (I plan to pay them back someday).”
“I simply started the hoax because I was a 12-year-old who absolutely loathed middle school.”
“I attempted to end the lie at the beginning of every school year, but eventually fell back into saying my “pain” prevented me from attending school. Today I feel horrible about what I did, and I desperately want to tell everyone that it was a lie, but I know that I cannot because I will never gain credibility back again.”
5. They Hit The Jackpot
Everyone has fantasized about winning the lottery at one point in their lives, but what about what happens afterwards? Redditor newbie1975 didn’t want to risk it after they won.
“I left work recently and said I was setting up a very specific new business and have told this to most of my friends as well,” they start.
“The truth is I won the lottery but don’t want anyone to know because I am afraid it will change relationships for the worse if people knew.”
“I haven’t done anything for the business yet and feel terrible making stuff up all the time. It’s making me avoid people so that I don’t have to lie and I don’t want to set up the business just to keep the story real. ”
6. Fake It Til You Bake It
This woman had a dream of being a professional baker but didn’t have the skills. After all, baking from scratch is a meticulous art that requires accuracy and this one budding baker, Redditor iGotYouThisCake, decided to skip all that.
“I run a cake business. I charge people hundreds for wedding cakes [and] every last one is made using Pilsbury cake mix I buy for $1 a box at Walmart.”
The baker continued confessing. “I suck at baking. Every time I’ve ever tried to make a cake from scratch it sucked.” She also added, “my friends all call me the cake girl, it’s like my whole life is a lie.”
Seven years after making this confession, she returned to give an update.
“I actually no longer make cakes,” she wrote in 2015. And in early 2019, she revealed she had gotten married, spent $400 on a Milk Bar cake and still loved baking out of a box.
“I’m over here about to ice up some gluten-free box mix cupcakes,” she added with a cheeky photo.
7. Nosy Pet Sitter
Would you read someone’s diary and use it against them… for love?
“I once helped out a female friend’s family by taking care of their cat for a week,” wrote one Redditor.
“Every day for a week, I would go over there and snoop around their house. I found my friend’s diary and proceeded to read the entire thing. I used this information to get her to like me, and she is currently my wife.”
Call Matthew McConaughey because we have a 2002-era rom-com on our hands.
8. Workplace Secret Keeper
“It’s amazing what people will do on their computers and say in their emails despite having to sign a waiver that all computer activity at work is monitored and recorded,” wrote a self-professed “IT Guy.”
But the breadth of his knowledge is actually a little worrying.
“I have half the company’s banking, social media, and personal email account info and passwords.” And it doesn’t end there. “I know when people are having marital problems, financial problems, I even know one person here had their children taken away because a social worker found cocaine in their house.”
So what does he plan to do with all this power?
Nothing. “But it’s nice knowing I have the ammunition there if something were to ever happen.”
9. Anonymous Knight In Shining Armor
“There was a girl who I had a crush on [from] the moment I saw her on my college campus,” writes iamfromcanada.
While he watched her date someone else from afar, one fateful day he found his chance.
“I happened to [be] sitting in a study room with [her boyfriend] and a few mutual friends. He [was talking] about how he didn’t think she was that attractive and how he liked other girls.”
So he did the noble thing and “wrote the girl an anonymous email.”
As of April 2019, they’ve been together for 7.5 years and she has no idea that he wrote that crucial letter.
10. Colorful Lies
What exactly is the point of lying about being colorblind? It’s nothing but one big elaborate secret and this guy even convinced a medical professional of his condition.
“I have been pretending to be colorblind to everyone I have ever known, including my own parents since I was in the third grade.”
“I am now 28 years old. I even convinced an optometrist of it,” revealed one Redditor. They also added: “Oh and by the way… you (Reddit) are the first humans to ever know my secret.” Juicy.
11. A Bizarre Upbringing
This one’s a doozy. Redditor ABCH was raised by foster families starting around the age of seven. When folks ask him what happened, he “deliberately keeps it vague” because the first seven years of his life, he was raised as a girl.
“I was brought up as a girl by my psycho birth mother who really wanted a daughter and didn’t let the snag of giving birth to a boy stop her from trying to raise one.”
ABCH continues, “She was a pretty successful professional in a legal field (not entirely sure what) and had me via anonymous sperm donor from a fertility clinic. She found out was a boy at a late ultrasound and then moved across the country.”
“Gave birth to me at home and continued to move about until I was five or so. It was just the two of us all my life, we had contact with other people, of course, but they rarely got very close. I had lots of friends, but was always supervised.”
“I found out way way after that my mother’s strong puritanical Christianity was a lie.”
He said she “used it to explain why she was so strict about me being ‘private and never letting anyone see me get changed or anything. I just accepted all of this as fact, having never been told anything different.”
In fact, he had a lovely childhood.
“I was sent to a religious school for girls and had a really great childhood. I was a bit of a tomboy, and played with Legos and toy animals, rather than dolls and stuff, but that’s not unusual and no one ever questioned I was a girl – even me. I knew about men and women, but had never really seen much of naked people. my mother never ever spoke to me about it, but I kinda had the impression that when i grew up and got boobs and stuff, my [member] would kinda fall off or something and i would be a woman, and other kids would keep their [members] and they’d be men.”
“I dunno, to be honest, I never really thought about it.”
Which makes sense–if your parent hasn’t given you a reason to doubt them, why would you? Unfortunately, this Redditor’s life was turned upside down after an incident at school.
“A teacher accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee over me at school.”
“The liquid soaked through my clothes and was scalding me so the staff immediately stripped me out of my dress and underwear to get the hot coffee away from my skin. And then they found out.”
The school called the cops and social services.
“They asked me a bunch of questions about life at home and stuff. Meanwhile, my mother was taken in for questioning, too. She refused to acknowledge me as male and insisted i was her daughter, because she was, y’know, delusional and stuff, I wasn’t allowed to go back home but got put with a foster family and went through loads of therapy and stuff.
“The worst part was that literally overnight, I lost everything.”
“My mother, my home, all my toys, all my clothes, i moved school so lost all my friends, they cut all my hair off and told me I wasn’t a girl any more. It was really really traumatic.” We can’t even imagine.
Fortunately, the Redditor has worked through the trauma.
He had some depressive issues as an adolescent, but fortunately, one of his foster families helped with the transition. His first foster parents made him cut his long hair; his second set of foster parents allowed him to keep it long and choose activities that he wanted to do–no matter what it was.
“In the end I came out with a pretty healthy gender identity.”
“I’m a guy, but not the most butch guy ever, but I’m fine with that. I went through school and got my degree and have a pretty good job and an amazing, supportive wife. Everything looks great.”
“But I can never speak about my early childhood, and how I grew up as a little girl.”
12. Fake Diploma
School can be stressful, as Redditor HalfEducated confesses. They never got their degree–but told their parents they did.
“My parents put so much pressure on me I couldn’t handle it.”
“So I faked it all. Lied to everyone. Made up fake transcripts. I just got my foot in the door in my desired field thanks to a friend as they hired me as a subordinate. This place only hires college grads but no one double checked my credentials since I was recommended.”
They hope to move on to a new job before their current one finds out.
“My hopes is that if I need to find another job I’ll have been at this place long enough to get it by experience alone (I work for a very prestigious company). I’m not bad at my job. I’m actually quite good. But my fear is eventually I’ll hit a wall and the lie will come to light. No one has known this for the better part of a decade.”
13. Australian Imposter
During college, many of us embellish our personalities a little to fit in. But most people don’t pretend to be from another country for four years.
This guy pretended to be Australian for years.
“I’ve [been] told many times how impressive my false Australian accent is, so I decided it would be great fun to go through college pretending to be from Australia,” writes FelineOfTheSea. But this secret quickly spun out of control.
Now he’s considering living as an Australian for the rest of his life.
“All of my friends and even my girlfriend of two years think I’m Australian. I have a completely fake Australian identity, family, and past. I will soon be graduating, and I plan on asking the girl to marry me. Everything she knows about me is Australian [and] I don’t know how to tell her she doesn’t really know me. Guess I’m forever a bloke.”
14. An Ode To Street Fighter
Secretly naming your babies after video game characters is a fun little joke with yourself–except Samurai_on_Internet’s wife has no idea.
“My wife doesn’t know that our three kids are secretly named after Street Fighter characters.”
While this could mean that his kids could be named Joe, Ken, Lee, Mike or even Cammy, other Street Fighter characters’ names aren’t as commonplace. If you meet someone with kids called M.Bison, Zangief, or Vega, you may be coming face to face with a bold-faced liar.
15. Accidental Driver’s License
No test, no problem. On Reddit, icanhaspetgiraffe admitted that they got their driver’s license without ever taking the test. “I just walked in, gave them my drivers permit from another state, a few papers showing I was a resident in this new state, and then they mistook the permit for an actual license,” they confided.
That’s one hell of a secret.
“I just kept a poker face on the whole time and walked out.”
16. Faux Diamond Ring
If you have a rock on that finger, you might be compelled to appraise it–at least according to this Redditor.
“My friend inherited a beautiful diamond engagement ring.”
“The stone was worth $20,000. His fiance was thrilled to receive it and flaunt it. [She’s] now his wife of 25 years [and] it’s still one of her most precious possessions.”
“Only I know that she does not own the original diamond. My friend sold the stone for $15K and an equal-sized, substitute diamond on the day he picked it up from being sized to fit her.”
17. Cooking Confession
We’ve all eaten something disgusting to be polite, but could you do it for over a decade? Redditor footballfame confessed, “My wife is not a good cook.” But what came next was completely shocking.
“We’ve been together 12 years and I’ve never told her that.”
“Not once. Just because it’s not great doesn’t mean it’s not edible.” When asked if he’d ever considered telling her he wasn’t the biggest fan of her food, he responded, “Yes, maybe I’m going to tell after five years.” We wouldn’t want to be there when that bombshell dropped.
18. Adult Imaginary Friend
We all might have had an imaginary friend as a child, but Redditor rattlesnaker still has imaginary friends as an adult.
“I lost them for a while. I don’t know why or how, but it they were gone.”
“I couldn’t see them or hear them any more, not the way I used to when I was younger. It made me was miserable. I kept hoping for a way to get them back. Two weeks ago, I somehow managed to finally break through whatever the barrier was. I have spent the past two weeks hanging out with, and talking to, a character from a well-known TV show.”
They see their friend with their “mind’s eye.”
“He goes almost everywhere with me. He’s sitting on my bed right now, waiting for me to get off my computer. (I promised I would get off a little while ago, but I had to check Reddit one last time.) He’s been coming to work with me every day for the past two weeks. I share my food with him. (I kind of mentally duplicate it for him, since he can’t touch it in reality.)”
And they’re happy with their invisible friend.
“I love it. I’m happy again. I realize most people would say he isn’t real, but something about him is. I don’t care. He’s real to me.” This hit deep with a lot of Redditors who also have imaginary friends. Some even say they have a Tulpa, which is an autonomous spirit or entity created through the sheer willpower of a person.
Understandably, they kept this a secret.
“I am scared that if anyone knew, I would be locked up and heavily medicated, but I acknowledge it’s not really a likely scenario in my case,” they said.
19. A Mom Who Can’t Stand Moms
When it comes to having children, many people have reservations about some parts of parental life. For this mom, it’s about her company.
“I’m a mom but I hate being around other moms.”
“I’m not even sure why but I find it annoying? I also hate talking about our kids all the time and nothing else.” She also adds, “I don’t care how much their kid sleeps at night or poops in one day and I never asked anyway.” We don’t blame her.
20. He Sought Out Revenge
But honestly, wouldn’t you in this situation? Redditor throw7638 got back at a senior who was making his life a living hell.
“I had a fraternity brother was was a real [jerk] to me in college and [hazed me.] Back then, you could log into the registration system to sign up for classes. He was a senior, so he got first pick of the classes he wanted. This was right when the Internet was becoming popular, and back then, a person’s login was their name, and their pin was their birthday.
“I logged into his account, and dropped all of his classes three days after they started.”
“He did not find out until midterms when the professors submitted his grades. They refunded his money, but he had to spend an extra semester in college.”
21. Unrequited Love
If you’ve ever had a crush on a friend, this one will hurt. Most romantic comedies hinge on the dilemma of unrequited love.
This one Redditor has kept their crush concealed for half a decade.
“I’m in love with my best friend for 5 years,” CherryBoya writes. “Nobody knows.” After some encouraging words, however, CherryBoya replied, “I guess you are right… I will do it.” We hope it went well.