Everyone has secrets they carry with them, and most of the time, they never reveal them. However, there's something about the internet that can persuade people to spill their most heavily-guarded secrets. Maybe it's the safety of being anonymous, or they're just looking for an outlet.
People on Reddit share the secret they feel comfortable sharing with online strangers. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I catfished strangers on the internet for years using pictures of a girl I went to high school with. I eventually came clean to the strangers but would be horrified if the girl whose pictures I was using ever found out.
I even had an online blog for my 'followers,' and created a whole other life for her."
"I was a member of a swim team. I was at a meet one night, and I really had to pee. Problem was, my heat was about to come up. Now, I was about to freaking burst, but the bathroom was all the way across the pool (it was a big pool). So instead of running all the way there and potentially risking missing my heat, I instead decided to pee on a nearby tree.
The kicker? There were people sitting all around it. See, in my 8-year-old brain, I thought that nobody would notice it so long as I covered my member with my hands. They noticed."
"My best friend of 10 years lost his job. He was going through rough times beforehand (wife cheated, left him, horrible divorce... it was awful). Now, he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and can be forgetful. He, however, is a very proud man and will not accept help from anybody. Nothing I can do, he's always been that way (important later).
One night while having a few drinks, he mentions how he's worried about making rent next month. Due to my decent savings and a good job, I offered to help him. He refused to say he would never accept it. Now, I know his landlord as a vague acquaintance (saw him and had talked to him a few times before while at my buddy's place).
So I went to see him while my buddy was at another friend's house working on his old dirt bike. I paid his rent in full, in cash, for the next two months. I told his landlord to NEVER tell him it came from me and to tell him that was owed to him due to overpayment on his rent while he lived there. Something about reviewing the last few year's finances, to make it seem legit. He totally bought it!
I saw him the next weekend, and he was so happy! He told me all about the overpayment, and how that magically saved him, for, without them, he might be homeless. While he thinks he was saved due to an accounting error, I'm so happy knowing I greatly improved his situation, at least for a little while!"
"My dad had two massive strokes four years ago. He was hospitalized and went through a lot of physical and psychological training over the following year. However, a large part of his brain had 'died,' so he had the mind of a five-year-old. I still loved him and visited him in the rehabilitation clinic (like a nursing home, but better suited), as often as I could. Every visit was hard because he wasn’t the same anymore - he often only focused on eating candy, or be annoyed about stuff he felt he was missing (like a new watch or similar).
One day the staff called me and said that I needed to get some prescription pills because they didn’t get the delivery from the pharmacy. I had a meeting one hour later, so I got the pills and drove as fast as I could to them. When I got there, they asked if I wanted to talk to him.
'I can’t, I don’t have the time right now. I’ll talk to him tomorrow when I get here.' I think he saw me from his window, as I drove off again.
That night he died.
To this day, I blame myself for not talking to him for just 5 minutes. I was stressed, and I knew it would just be random weird stuff. I don’t know if he was saddened that I had left, and then just gave up. I’d give anything to get him back.
I can’t tell my mom or sister this. They’d be devastated."
"When I first started dating my boyfriend, I moved in with him in another state pretty quickly like after three or four months. So one night, he was in the shower in our one-bedroom one-bathroom apartment and I was chilling in the living room. Suddenly, I had to poop SO BAD. Like it was go time and he was in the shower. I absolutely did NOT feel comfortable going in there and blowing up the toilet at the same time he was in the shower.
In hindsight, I should have just run to the corner store and gone poo and come back with snacks and acted like I just wanted some munchies, but I was panicking so what did I do?
I grabbed two plastic grocery bags, doubled them up, took them into our walk-in closet (I think I figured if he popped out of the shower in the middle of my shame at least I would be behind another door and have a minute to compose myself) and I SQUATTED AND POOPED A HUGE LOAD OF TURD INTO THESE GROCERY BAGS IN OUR CLOSET. I wiped with paper towels and tied up the bag and immediately went down and took out the trash.
He will never know. No one will never know. This is my shame."
"It was late at night and I had gotten up to get something to drink. I was in bed before so I wasn’t wearing any clothes. I had to pee, but I figured I’d hold it until I was done pouring my water. My body had other ideas and I literally peed myself standing in front of the fridge.
I had to hurry and clean it up before my boyfriend walked out to a huge puddle. I then got in the shower and lied to my boyfriend and told him I had a headache."
"I never graduated from college. I paid $200 and ordered a fake degree and had it sent to my parents' house. They totally believed it. I lied to my girlfriend at the time and all my friends.
I was already in my 5th year of college with a realistic one and a half years left. I messed around a TON in college with a bunch of D's and F's that wouldn't count and I couldn't handle anymore. I just never went back. I lied to my parents and told them I was so embarrassed that I was a 5th-year student, that I didn't care to go to the graduation ceremony. Also, all my friends were already gone. They also believed it.
It still weighs on my conscious all the time. Whenever people talk about college and ask me, I tell them I 'went' to college but rarely ever mention graduating unless they straight up ask me what year I graduated. I lie as a last resort. Looking back, I would have died to be able to graduate with all my friends and actually see my parents cheer as I walked on stage. If I could go back in time, I would study my butt off and just finish the darn degree.
It's not worth me going back to college just to complete my degree. I now run my own business and pull in a 6-figure salary. Before that, I climbed the corporate ladder. The fear of being exposed and being forever defined as a 'college failure' motivated me to work my butt off. I wanted to bury that lie so deep in success that nobody dares even bothers to ask me about college. I probably would never be in the position I am in if I never lied about graduating from college."
"My twin and I live very different lives. One of us is a stay at home dad to three kids with a quiet house in the suburbs. The other is a gambling consultant in the city who sleeps with a new partner on an almost nightly basis.
Twice a year, we switch places for a week. We both like our lives, but we also want a break from it sometimes. We update each other at the start and end of the week. We're identical enough that no one notices. Only around an inch of height difference. One of us has a deeper voice, which is easy enough to fake. The fact that one of us wears glasses is easy for the other to fake as well. Same with hair color.
We've been doing it for nine years. No one else has noticed so far. We're the only two people who know."
"Two years ago, when I was 23, I lived with three roommates. I got super wasted at this party, but one of my roommates was in much worse condition than I was. I walked (more like carried) her home at like three am, and tried to get her into bed so she can wake up safely with her huge hangover.
I did all the stuff they tell you to do; turn them on their side and put a pillow behind them so they don't roll on their back. Put a bucket and a glass of water within arms reach. Put a towel on the bed where they might throw up.
However, when I was about to go to bed myself, she did the one thing I haven't told anyone except her: with the covers up, she pulled down her pants, told me she had to go to the bathroom, and took a huge dump in her bed, then rolled on the floor and passed out.
I honestly didn't know what to do, so I figured if no one knows, this doesn't have to turn into anything. So I grabbed a plastic bag and picked up the deposit, threw all the sheets in a big garbage bag, threw them in the trash can in the back, threw new sheets on the bed, put a pillow under her head, and left.
For that entire week, I was the only one who took the garbage and recycling out to the back, just to make sure no one knew. I told her in the morning when she asked, but I haven't told anyone else. I die inside every time I remember it because it's a hilarious story to tell."
"I accidentally spilled an adult on the family’s computer and my brother got blamed for it. After a while, the battery died fast and the screen stayed black. He even paid my mom for repairs when the screen wouldn’t turn on at all because my parents think he must’ve dropped it.
To this day no one knows that I was the one who spilled the drink."
"I was fired because my employer got wind that some inappropriate conduct was happening in the office, and it was making me uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable enough to say anything about it (or sue about it), but I told a friend in confidence and she went directly to the boss. Well, I was told a big long rambling stupid story about why the company needed to part ways with me, and I was offered a severance pay on the condition that I sign a nondisclosure agreement.
In this nondisclosure agreement was a clause saying I can't sue them for inappropriate harassment. So, even though I wasn't going to sue them for inappropriate harassment, they fired me because they thought I might.
Even worse is that when asked why I was fired, the company tells people it was because I was abusing substances and drinking a lot, which isn't remotely true. So now that's how the story goes... I got fired for 'abusing substances and drinking a lot,' when I really got fired because they were inappropriately harassing me and worried I'd rat them out."
"A few years ago we were really hurting for money. Like, we'd go days without eating because we couldn't afford food. Bills had gone unpaid for so long that we were at risk of losing electricity and water. I'd already sold everything of value at a pawn shop downtown, so I did the one thing I could - I sold photos of me undressed.
I know the guy who bought them, and I know what he did with them. I made dang sure to keep my face out of them, but I still feel so freaking sick when I remember it.
I am ashamed of it, and I hate that I did it, and I've tried putting it out of my mind because I feel so messed up when I remember it.
Thankfully we're doing better now, but I'll never forget what I had to sell just to pay my bills. Being poor, it really messes you up. When you get money, you spend it immediately because you know you'll never have the chance again. Remembering the things I've pawned, the things I've sold, it makes me so upset.
And I can't tell anyone. They'd judge me for selling those types of photos, they'd say I'm complaining about having to hock everything of value I have (how very first world, whining about selling jewelry), and I'm so ashamed of it anyway that it's better that no one knows."
"I got to the final interview for a fantastic job, like a superb job. A lot of people were proud of me for even getting to the final stage. I told my family and my significant other that the interview didn’t go well and I that I got rejected.
In reality, during the second phase they told me that I basically had the job but I needed to come in for the last part to meet some more of the higher-ups. I drove to the place and just stayed in my car for about an hour to make it seem like I went to the interview.
I never went in because I thought so little of myself. I kept telling myself that I don’t deserve it and that sooner or later everyone will realize that, so I might as well not even start in the first place."
"Years ago, I came across a flipped over car under an overpass the was on my usual route. It looked like the accident had just happened but it was eerily quiet and there was no traffic. I stopped to kinda look and immediately called 911 to let them know. It was dark and really didn't look like anyone was in the car but 911 said don't go near the vehicle just in case there was gas or fire unless someone was obviously in danger.
A crew came minutes later and told me thanks for calling and that they'd take it from there. To this day, I've never been quite sure if anyone was in the car but I really feel like someone was watching me watch that car."
"My grandmother had a cat. I became very close with the cat, however, no one really knew or cared. My parents didn't know this, but I had talked with my grandmother about taking the cat when I moved out. He died on my last Christmas break. I held him as I watched the life leave his eyes. I gave him to my grandmother afterward and my grandfather made me put him in a trash bag.
I don't know what happened to him after that. My family thinks that it was my grandmother holding him when he died. I felt I would be crossing some kind of line if I told them it was me. It was her cat. But I loved him so much. The worst part is that he never got the kind of funeral the family dogs did or even got buried with the family pets in our graveyard. I still feel beat up about it.
I have dreams of that cat and can see him walking around as if he is still alive, and no one seems to care he is dead. It sucks, I can't get over the cat, and I can't say anything because 'He was just a cat.'
I want to stop missing him, but I can't seem to move on. I can't tell anyone I miss him, and I can't get help."
"My father returned from work late one night. Seeing that the gas stove wasn't working, my mother presumed that we were out of gas and took out an old kerosene stove - which she used when we were poor. The stove blasted and my mother caught fire. My father was in the bathroom. He heard us kids crying and came out to save her. She died a month later.
However, that's not the whole story. The real story is different. When I woke up, my father was trying to save her. My sibling crying.
My mother crying, 'I'm so sorry. I didn't know it would be this bad.'
The kerosene stove was on the floor, completely fine. Its cap was off. My father would come home hammered every night. He had already been in an accident before since he drives home from another city where he worked and drank. She wanted him to stop. When I asked him then, he told me that it was her sister's idea to fake a suicide attempt to get him to stop drinking. My sibling had seen her light the matchstick but couldn't contemplate what was going on; he had woken up due to their quarrel.
When the police asked my father questions in the hospital, my cousin (daughter of the said sister) took us for a walk while keeping an eye at the officer from afar. They were probably worried that I would give out something that I shouldn't. Jokes on them because I have always been good at lying. I don't lie much now, but I can spin out lies so good that I can make people believe something utterly ridiculous. Now I only lie when helping someone out with a prank or when the truth is so bizarre that I don't want to waste my time explaining it and can end the conversation with a tiny lie. They didn't know that. They think I don't know what they did. They think that I believe their lies for they have said them a thousand times.
As an early teen, I used to imagine myself as an adult heading into the police station and filing a complaint against everyone involved. But I gave up on that because I didn't have any money. To be completely honest, I don't know about the others but my father could easily be caught as he has had tons of drinking and driving cases on him. He had a hit-and-run case going on when he died (the person hit survived because it was right in front of the hospital in the middle of the day).
The sister's husband was running a scam. He would run away from the police and live with us until things were settled down. Sister still assumes that I had no idea about all this when she talks about the time uncle gave us visits to check on us. She is helping us (sibling and I) financially, now. I never asked her to. She says she feels responsible for us.
Months before my father died, he seemed to have believed the lie."
"My wife hates my guts. I’m not perfect but I don’t deserve the way she treats me. She tells me I’m her biggest mistake and she wishes she never met me. The only reason she’s stayed with me so long is that I pay the bills and our insurance comes through my job. The only reason I stay with her is because of our daughter. I don’t want to put her through a split living situation, and I don’t want to lose her.
The reason why no one else on planet earth knows this is because I’m a pastor. One hint of marital dysfunction (much less full-on divorce), and I would be out of a job and have to find a whole new career path.
I’ve tried everything. She doesn’t want it to work and won’t go to counseling. So I guess we’re just stuck with each other like incompatible roommates for the next 30+ years. Sucks to be me."
"When I was a cadet (like youth group but run by the military for those aged 13-18 I think, and you go twice a week) I'm pretty sure a staff member watched an adult film on one of the laptops that were for the teenagers to use (all staff brought their own laptops if they needed one on a night).
Why do I think this?
One time, I was given one of the Microsoft surfaces to get work done. When I opened it up I noticed the fabric type keyboard had white-ish stains all over like someone had splashed a liquid on it. There was no way I could ask for a different one so I just had to use it anyway. I persuaded myself it was fine although I did find it odd that the search history was cleared. Nobody ever clears the search history because they're only used to do cadet stuff and it doesn't delete itself.
Also, it would have had to be a staff member since the laptops were locked in a cupboard and could only be taken from permission from the staff. Plus you would always be seated in a room with a staff member.
I only told one person and it was my female friend at cadets. Still feel really uncomfortable thinking about it three years later. It just seems creepy and gross."
"My parent's relationship has ruined the idea of marriage for me. Growing up in a household where your parents are constantly fighting, verbally, and physically, can mess up someone's viewpoint on matrimony. It has led me to be super uncomfortable in relationships, and has given me a viewpoint of 'Why try to keep a relationship if it is just going to end.' This causes me to ruin the relationship by setting it up for failure.
I am currently in a long-distance relationship with my best friend, and I am terrified of ruining it. I know he loves me but there is still the fear of if we get serious of us turning into my parents. I know I'm not my mom and he's not my father, but I also know that I have some bad traits from both of my parents that I am trying to overcome."