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Anything your parents have let slip now you are an adult that you were oblivious to as a child?

(317 Posts)
twentypence Sat 06-Sep-08 10:39:08

My dad said on the phone "oh, there's that mountain we climbed on the telly. You remember when I took you and your brother away for a holiday and mum stayed at home."

I didn't catch all of what mum said - but it was something to the effect that she wasn't best pleased to be reminded of the time they split up.

I had no idea - I just thought dad got more leave.

GentleOtter Sat 06-Sep-08 10:45:30

At the ripe old age of 48, I have just discovered that they got my birth date wrong.By a whole week. FGS.

twentypence Sat 06-Sep-08 10:48:59

That's impressive GentleOtter - but a handy excuse for 2 lots of presents a week apart.

SparklyDiscoGirl Sat 06-Sep-08 11:07:22

I didn't twig on that my mum was pregnant before they got married until I was about 20.

They were celebrating their 20th anniversary when I suddenly realised that my 20th birthday was only 4 months later. grin

Imnotok Sat 06-Sep-08 11:11:18

That while I thought my dad was working away he was actually shacked up in France with a girl called Lenora and she was PG with triplets but lost them .

Told to me by my mother when she got very very drunk one night shock

lulumama Sat 06-Sep-08 11:13:24

my mum had a job when i was at primary school. grin

didn;t know as she was always there in the morning and to pick us up after shcool

my parents were hippys, many pics of them in kaftans and long hair and looking dreamy.. i am surprised there was not any 'out there' revelations...

twentypence Sat 06-Sep-08 11:18:02

Imnotok - that is quite something - did your dad come back?

psychomum5 Sat 06-Sep-08 11:21:20

I only found out when I got married that the way I spell my name is not the way it is spelled on my birth certificate.

apparently my mum was high when she registered me and gave the wrong spellingsad, and it came out when I applied to get married. I now have all official stuff with one spelling, yet anything else has my spelling (oh, and the spelling it should be and the one I was taught by my mother!)

Mamazon Sat 06-Sep-08 11:24:46

found out when i was 18 that i have an older half brother.

pagwatch Sat 06-Sep-08 11:31:08

When I was about 8 a relative from Ireland came to live with us for a while. She stayed several months and had to share a room with my 3 sisters and I.
It was great fun. She was the same age as my sister ( about 17) and we all had such a great time.
One day I woke up and she was gone.
Yes I know I am dense but it truly was only when i was about 18 myself that her visit was explained.
Thrown out for getting pregnant she stayed with us until she had her baby and then left to start a new life in Aus.
I couldn't believe that a) I hadn't spotted her pregnancy as she was a slim girl b) that the older brothers and sisters had kept the secret from the younger ones ( including me) and c)that my dad - who I had always thought of as stright laced and likely to be furious about that sort of thing had arranged it all including her support and move to Australia.

I still find it all weird.And less that the pregnancy was hidden etc but more that I so misjudged my dads moral compass

Imnotok Sat 06-Sep-08 11:31:08

Yes my dad came back we were living with my Grandma and my mum just fetched him back one night .
Then we moved to a new house and they had two more dc .
They are still together now.

psychomum5 Sat 06-Sep-08 11:31:35

oh mamazon. I found I also had a half brother when I was 16.....he was younger and altho the rest of the family knew, no-one mentioned it to meangrysad.

how did you react? and have you met him since?

Smithagain Sat 06-Sep-08 11:34:48

That my dad was married and divorced before he married my mum. He decided to mention it for the first time about two weeks before my wedding. Because his first wife had gone through with getting married and then immediately decided it wasn't for her sad

No idea if there are any half siblings. Have decided to let it rest!

Wasn't my dad that told me was my uncle but found out a few years ago that my dad was going to be charged with death by dangerous driving after my mum died in a car he was driving - they didn;t charge him because they thought it was best he stayed with his kids than go to prison - I wish he had gone to prison now as he really fucked up being a dad and a bit of bum sex by some big shaven head, tattooed man may have made him a nicer person!

ShowOfHands Sat 06-Sep-08 11:41:30

I was aware that we had no money but didn't realise that when we went camping for our annual holiday (3 miles away from home), my Dad would take on casual night work to afford it, leave after we were asleep and come back before we woke up. Just so we could have a holiday. He used to fall asleep on the beach a lot!

DH's Grandad found out a few weeks ago, that he has a half brother. His elderly mother- still going strong at 86- phoned up and said 'come round, your brother's here'. It's a sad story tbh. His Dad was away for the whole of the war, she met an American serviceman and had a baby. The serviceman wanted to stay but ended up back in the US, her dh came home to a 2yr old boy that wasn't his and said 'it's me or him'. She drove him to the children's home the following day, cried all the way there and back and has never cried since as 'she doesn't deserve to'. Kept the secret for 60 years.

ilookbetterwithdrink Sat 06-Sep-08 11:42:59

my "dad" was nto my real dad at all. he only came onto the scene when i was 3/4.

everyone just assumed i knew so when something was mentioned when i was about 23 they were all surprised i was shocked.

Imnotok Sat 06-Sep-08 11:44:36

SOH that is so sad

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 06-Sep-08 11:45:44

oh god MC thats awfull! i have found out loads about my parents since i was older.

i guess the biggest thing was finding out my dad had been married before and had a daughter. i was 13 when i found out.

i was about 17 when i discovered they also smoke weed occasionaly. though untill a few months ago i thought they had stopped. untill me and my sister were fooling about saying "oh lets go and buy some drugs do you know who we can some from?" <to each other but infront of my dad> when he replied "yes actually i do. what sort of drugs do you want? i have got some really good hash upstairs" hmm we are still trying to figure out if was serious.

<disclaimer. by drugs we actually meant diet pills. i am not a junkie>

used2bthin Sat 06-Sep-08 11:47:30

That my parents aren't married. Which wouldn't shock me at all, in fact I was always a bit suspicious as my mum was really vague when I asked about their wedding day. My uncle was discussing another uncles wdding and said to me dad did you and (my mum) ever get round to getting married? Me and my Dad looked at each other and laughed!

DisasterArea Sat 06-Sep-08 11:47:40

shock at these.

my mum mentioned that she hadn't actually spoken to my father for 5 years before he finally fucked off. none of us ever noticed.or thought it wierd that she slept in my sisters bedroom.

PurpleOne Sat 06-Sep-08 13:07:48

I was 32 when my mum told me I had an older brother who died. I had no idea sad

Still have never seen a photograph.

twentypence Sat 06-Sep-08 19:37:40

That one about going out to work nights while you were camping - that's an amazing story. Most of the rest are either sad or shock.

Having kept their mouths shut for so long - you just wish they had remained shut don't you?

cmotdibbler Sat 06-Sep-08 21:14:14

I never realised as a child that my grandmother would have intermittent psychotic episodes and be sectioned or just not be in a frame of mind for us children to see for months at a time. I found all this out when, aged 13 a policeman turned up before school and told my mum she'd gone missing again - turned out she'd killed herself that time.

A lot of family stuff came out after dads aunt got back in touch after 30 years (nan would take against people, and forbade other family members to contact them, and her rage was too much to deal with) and she told him a lot of stuff.

Took me years to work out that brother being born in December, when my parents had been married in the April didn't quite add up, esp with how overdue he was...

Mamazon Sun 07-Sep-08 12:03:50

psycho - no never met him. my dad doesn't even know his name. just that he has a son.
its quite sad really. dad was 14, got his 16 year old girlfriend pregnant. her family were very rich (the dad was CEO of phillips electronics) they were not best pleased that there privately educated daughter was knocked up by a local oik so they moved to Amsterdam.

The girls mum wrote to my gran and said that he was born healthy and happy but that they would like it if they were left to bring him up alone.
preety easy considering no one had any contact details for them.

I found out that my mum's ldest sister is only a half sister. Apparently my gran had a fling with someone and got pregnant with twins. He wasn't interested but my grandfather stepped up and married my gran even though she was pregnant with someone else's babies. Sadly, one of the twins didn't survive. My mum always said she thought she was her dad's favourite (they had another 4 children) which would make more sense as she was actually his first child.

My mum thought i knew though as her older sister looks nothing like her and her other siblings. I had no clue.

edam Sun 07-Sep-08 12:26:04

Showofhands, that's an amazing story. Your dad is clearly top-notch.

I didn't know my mother was adopted, but then neither did she - only came out when she lost her (short) birth certificate and had to apply for a new one. At the age of 45. Her parents had both been dead for more than 20 years so it was a massive shock.

She never told me that her mother had severe depression after caring for her elderly mother and was sectioned. I found out from my sister after I'd left home. She'd told us lots of stories about her family and childhood but they were all happy stories. sad

wilbur Sun 07-Sep-08 12:33:52

Found out 2 things 35:

1. That neither of my parents had attended my starring moment in nursery Nativity play (Angel Gabriel) and that the photo of me in full angel garb that was on our mantlepiece forever was, in fact, taken by a friend of my Mum's.

2. That my father had a daughter just after he left University but lost touch with her mother. I have now met her, she's lovely.

Funnily enough, I was far more upset about the
Nativity play than the half-sister.

DaisySteiner Sun 07-Sep-08 12:35:16

Found out at my grandfather's funeral that half of his brothers and sisters (of which there were 13!) had a different father. My great-grandparents stayed married but she had a bunch of children by a different man shock

Also realised that my great-aunt (through my grandmother) had previously been married to my grandfather's brother - ie two brothers had married two sisters. So my dad's cousins are cousins on both his mother's and father's side. Good job he didn't want to marry one of them as I suppose genetically they're more like siblings than cousins.

Edam, My Dad found out he was adopted at about the same age. His sister (also adopted) told him after both my grandparents had passed. An auntie (of which we had no knowledge of) told her that they were both adopted when she was a girl and he a baby and she was sworn to secrecy.

priceyp Sun 07-Sep-08 16:36:52

One of my earliest memories is running next door to our neighbours to ring an ambulance for my mother who had collapsed unconscious in our hallway.

I was told (and believed) that I was about 2 and it was because of complications with her pregnancy (my unborn sister). But now that I am older and have 2 DCs myself, I realised that it might not have been possible for a two year old to be that coherant.
I never brought it up with her, but she recently told me that she had had several miscarriages after my sister, but never told us sad. So I was about 4 and my little sis was 2.

sagacious Sun 07-Sep-08 16:58:27

That wife swapping and witchcraft were so prevalent in there sleepy little village idyll.

slug Sun 07-Sep-08 17:09:12

Showofhands, my dad did that too. He would work a full day then do an evening shift at the local car factory. That was how he saved up enough for the deposit on our house. I found out i had a half sister when I was in my late 20s. Turned out that not only did my mother have a child before marriage, her younger sister did too.

Twims Sun 07-Sep-08 23:36:44

Any more skeletons in the closet grin

BellaDonna79 Mon 08-Sep-08 00:17:17

my cousins found out they had a half brother when they went to the solicitors after their dad died, at first they couldn't understand why it was a 5 way split not 4, then a teenage boy turned up... What I think is really sad though is that my great grandfather got his fiance's little sister pregnant (in his diary he maintained she was the love of his life) so the 3 of them moved away but then he had to serve in the war and she went to university so my 'great granny' had to raise her husband and sisters lovechild alone, she then treated my granny pretty dreadfully. It only came to light when the younger sister got demensia over a decade after my great grandparents died.

IndigoMoon Mon 08-Sep-08 00:31:49

my dads brother is more than likely a half brother cos my nan was having an affair. the stories that came out and my mom was suprised i did not know!!!

aobut my mom and dad not so much to be fair apart from she cried solidly for a week when i left home!

MrsJohnCusack Mon 08-Sep-08 01:34:07

I didn't realise for ages that my mother was pregnant with my brother when they got married - quite the scandal in NZ in 1961

I did know that my aunt (mother's sister) killed herself (in adulthood) but didn't know until fairly recently that she accused their brother (who I was always aware was 'odd' and died a long time ago) of abusing her when they were younger. My mother isn't convinced of the truth in this but then also blames herself as she was supposed to be looking after her younger sister. The brother was certainly an alcoholic, and sounds to me very much as though he had some sort of personality disorder or undiagnosed special needs of some kind which wouldn't have been dealt with in those days. The sister was what would now be called bipolar and I don't think it was ever that well treated.

it's all very buried, and confused, and hidden. We'll never know the truth but it's always astonishing to find out such things in the family you assume you know so well!

EisAHandbagaHolic Mon 08-Sep-08 03:21:28

i found out that my mother had tried, to the point of totally embarrassing herself, to fight my auntie for her son who she was giving up for adoption. my auntie was adamant that he went to a good and loving family (this was not always the case with my ownhmm) and the social worker i remember visiting deemed our living situation unsuitable and suggested my mother attempt to help her own children before trying to gain other peoplesshock
my mother also told me i was the product of a split condom when my older sister was around 6 weeks oldshock this was in a speech to 'deter' me from having unprotected sex at around 17 years oldshock apparantly im what happens if you arent careful enoughhmm such a self esteem boost i can tell youhmm
xx ei xx

cyteen Mon 08-Sep-08 05:23:24

for years i never questioned why my second youngest aunt was mum to the oldest of the cousins, till my dad mentioned that she got knocked up at 16, to the eternal embarrassment of my very straightlaced grandad.

eandh Mon 08-Sep-08 05:42:21

There is some huge scandal involving DH paternal grandparents but nobody has told me what (SIL said she'll tell me when noone is around but theres never an opportunity) I think it may be that she was pg before they got married as when they had their diamond wedding anniversary I asked for a pic of them on their wedding day (to put in local paper) and was told I couldnt because it would cause trouble (put a pic of them at our wedding instead)

Now I am thinking that she was 4 months pg and they gotr married in November and DH auntie is the eldest and her birthday is APril

Also found out my Grandad was adopted after his parents died in an accident and that his adoptive parents lived in the house next door to where my Nan lived so they knew each other from when my Nan was 2 (my Nans mum used to feel sorry for my Grandad as adoptive parents werent very nice so used to give him extra food etc)

Flamesparrow Mon 08-Sep-08 08:13:40

I thought my dad "just" had one affair.

Apparently I was wrong

Portofino Mon 08-Sep-08 08:36:52

I was about 18 when I discovered that my Grandmother had been married before and that my eldest aunt wasn't my Grandad's. Apparenly my Grandad's sister married, had 2 dcs then died. My Nan married the widowed husband and had one dd. Then he died. Story has it that my Grandad stepped up to the plate and took them on. Whether it was love, or pressure from the family no one is telling.

filthymindedvixen Mon 08-Sep-08 08:51:21

my poor mum used to send her neice a birthday present in August for 20 years until one day, the neice rang her and said :''Auntie, thank you for the presents, really lovely, but I don't understand why you always send them in August. My birthday is in May...''
My mum's own sister had lied to her for years to cover the fact the baby had been concieved out of wedlock....

Twims Mon 08-Sep-08 22:31:18

Gosh theres lots of skeletons out there

spamm Tue 09-Sep-08 10:11:03

I found out a few years ago that my great aunt was allegedly killed in her house about 30/40 years ago by a young man who was mentally disturbed. He was released from prison after many years, and it was reported as a miscarriage of justice.

My Mom saw it on tv when she was visiting and told me - I had never heard about it before in the family, but then my grandparents were very strict about things like that, and never discussed things that were not "proper".

suwoo Tue 09-Sep-08 10:26:13

My DH's mum was pregnant when she married his dad, not sure of the dates but she was quite far gone as showing a lot. They added a year on to the number of years they had been married, but somehow mis-calculated/forgot one year and it all came out when DH was was about 20 and his older sister (the baby in question) was 26ish.

I recently found my nans stash of birth certificates and was looking through them with her. My nans gran, had a baby at 16 (my nans mum)and the father was unknown. That always makes me feel sad. Also the baby was called Hannah and my nan reckoned she didn't know that was her mums name and thought it was Annie. This was in the 1800's as my nan is 82.

Pinkglow Tue 09-Sep-08 10:44:30

My grans sister was not her real sister. Turns out they knew a family in liverpool and the mother died in childbirth. When my grans mum went to visit the father and baby a couple of months later she found the baby very negected and the father a complete mess. They then both decided that it would be best if my grans family brought up the child. It was all very open though and the child and my gran knew from about 10 years old.

Also my father was in prision for about 6 months when I was about 2 - my siblings still dont know this.

My mum had an abortion before she met my father (she was engaged to someone else who left her the moment he found out she was pregnant) Again my siblings dont know this (honestly being the oldest is a burden somethings)

All very sad

suwoo Tue 09-Sep-08 14:01:48

Bumping as this has been really interesting.

Portofino Tue 09-Sep-08 14:28:30

My nan's mother had a number of children before she married my nan's dad. These were farmed out to other families. She then went on to have my nan and 3 more boys and subsequently died. My nan was taken in by her aunt, but the 3 boys were all put in a home by their father. It's so sad really!

My nan has never discussed any of this, but I've had snippets from other family members, and have actually only put the whole picture together by contact with some these long lost relatives and their children through Genes Reunited. One of the farmed out ones had been searching for years for his proper family. He was desperate for info on what had happened - but my nan is not talking and does not want any contact with him. It's such a shame.

MarlaSinger Tue 09-Sep-08 14:34:43

Loads, not sure I can post as some of it is a bit identifiable.

None of it good I'm afraid.

Ok, this one: when my parents divorced (I was very young) my dad met someone else and remarried.

They were 'trying' for a baby for years until a friend of my dad's let slip that he'd had a vasectomy.

BlingLovin Tue 09-Sep-08 14:43:22

My best one is about my "gran" - sorry about the detail, it's relevant...

She wasn't really my gran, but the closest thing I had as my real grandparents all died before I was born. She used to come and stay with our family quite often as she lived in a smaller town about 45 minutes away - so she'd come and do some shopping and get her hair done and have supper with us and stay over. She slept in guest quarters "outside" - outside in that it was two rooms and a bathroom in a little suite accessed via an internal courtyard which had doors onto the house and a staircase onto the driveway. We loved her.

Her husband passed away and years later she started seeing a man who it turned out she'd originally fallen in love with when she was very young but who her parents wouldn't let her marry because her family were relatively wealthy and he was poor and was still making his fortune. I always thought it was wonderful that they got together later in life and had a good 10 years or so before he also passed away.

Turns out... they didn't remeet after her husband died, but a few years before. She used to come to our house and then when she went to bed, he would join her via the outside stairs - ie he could acces her room without coming through the house!!! My parents allowed this for years!

[there is some hint that her husband was at least partly aware of this, but that bit is unclear].

DownyEmerald Tue 09-Sep-08 14:44:11

When I was about 19 and had split up briefly with a long term boyfriend my dad let slip that he and my mum had split up for a while when I was 2/3 ish. He thought I knew. Apparently he had a girlfriend, but never stayed the night with her. The implication was that I was the main reason he came back to mum.

I'm a bit more sympathetic these days about her slight paranoia (sp?) about my dad and other women.

Also growing up story was my grandfather couldn't divorce my grandmother because she was catholic. They split up when my mum was pg with me, and my grandfather left her for basically her best friend. I now know it was because if they'd divorced my grandmother wouldn't have got the widows pension!

BlingLovin Tue 09-Sep-08 14:47:25

Also, the really embarrassing one for me is that my dad always told me about his mother and her three siblings and then that her mother had two more children after his grandfather died. I thought that was the story. He FORGOT to mention to me, that while everyone KNEW that child number 1 from the second family was the second husband's, he'd been born while his grandmother was still married to her first husband!! So, I innocently asked my (half) great aunt about her brother and when she corrected me and said half brother, I said, "No, I thought he had the same father as you". She was mortified, I was confused. My father gave me a lecture about airing family secrets to older relatives!!!! hmm

squeaver Tue 09-Sep-08 14:48:56

Wow what a fascinating thread.

And here was me going to post that my mother (now a huge breastfeeding advocate) actually bottle-fed me. I only found out after I had dd.

Kind of pales into insignificance compared to some of these incredible stories.

pedilia Wed 10-Sep-08 12:22:27

Really interesting thread!

RubyRioja Wed 10-Sep-08 12:37:03

my mum actually was a virgin when she married my dad

my dad and his three brothers all had different dads

my grandmother was arrested for attacking a police officer (who was arresting my grandfather)

my grandmother left her eldest child at a convent when she went to 'entertain' the troops. I never asked what she did grin, but my dad said she had more soldiers under her than General Patton.

fancyflo Wed 10-Sep-08 14:03:18

Wow at these skeletons!

BroccoliSpears Wed 10-Sep-08 14:20:48

This thread is fascinating.

yeahyeah Wed 10-Sep-08 14:27:18

My grandfather killed himself when I was 9, always thought he'd died of a heart attack...

edam Wed 10-Sep-08 14:33:28

Only found out after my Granny died that her mother had been a lady's maid before she got married. Apparently Granny was very embarrassed that her mother had ever been 'in service'.

vonsudenfed Wed 10-Sep-08 14:35:13

I didn't know until I was ten or so that I'd had an elder sister who had died at birth. My parents didn't tell me though, my grandparents were showing me our family tree (I think deliberately) and I was totally shocked to see that I wasn't the first child.

My father still has never mentioned this to me - have no idea if he even knows I know. My mother talks about it though - they're divorced, and I think that my father's reaction had a lot to do with it.

But my family are full of secrets - cousins in prison, strange wills, scandalous leavings, horrible (to the point of cruelty) step parents, my aunt investing all her money in gold chains and then getting them nicked. When we were teenagers, my cousin and I would swap the latest ones we'd found out when we met.

edam Wed 10-Sep-08 14:37:01

Oh, and my great-aunt was very, very, concerned to pass on a big family secret about an illegitimate child before she died. When I tried to contact her family (she was my great-uncle's widow, not a blood relative) it turned out they all knew and had met the 'baby' concerned, now a middle aged lady. And the person she'd been worried about telling had died a decade earlier.

She was a church-going Catholic and believed that she was going to see all her deceased relatives again when she died. So I hope she's got it all sorted with everyone now. RIP Auntie Hilda.

ChupitosGalore Wed 10-Sep-08 14:49:20

my mum showed me her mums original wedding cert the other night. it was for what we had thought was her first marriage (of 3?? im lost now myself tbh) but states that she is a widow at the time. she was 24. no idea who the mystery first husband was or what happened to him. my mum reckons he killed himself, hence the never being mentioned. no2 killed himself too - my mum found him with his head in the oven when she was a kid. nice eh. spose he might have been my mums real dad... tho i thought hed buggered off and left her in the lurch wehn my nana got pg... guess i'll never know!

southeastastra Wed 10-Sep-08 14:50:37

yes, they told me our rabbit and guinea pig ran away and i spent months looking for them.

they later let slip they were both eaten by foxes

cocolepew Wed 10-Sep-08 14:57:49

We have a murderer in our family, going back a few years. Apparently he lay in wait and brained a member of the landed gentry.

My Grandad was married with a family before he married my Gran, my Mum and Aunty know this through gossip, my Gran never mentioned it. She was also pregnant when she got married. In Northern Ireland in those days it would have been very scandlous!

My Dad's Mum was in service and we think his elder sister was a result of a fling between her and her boss.

MKG Wed 10-Sep-08 15:24:30

Last year I found out the reason my cousins would stay over at our house so much when we were younger was because my aunt and uncle were swingers, and would drop them off to have sex parties.

VeronicaMars Wed 10-Sep-08 15:44:47

My mother told me one night when she was drunk that years ago while she was living in London having a few drinks with some work people that she was raped by a 'friend' and then found out she was pregnant and had an abortionsad
She has never told my dad or anyone else. She met my dad a few years later, got married and had me and my brother but before that she had a miscarraige.
She told me she always felt that the miscarraige was punishment for the abortion she had. It was a lot to take in at 18.

JillJ72 Wed 10-Sep-08 20:16:57

Someone got in touch with me a couple of years ago, she was helping a her boyfriend find his family. Turns out my Dad is his brother, and that my Nan (a very strict and scary lady who died in 1984) had had her family of five, plus another three boys, two by the same man. Twas the straw that broke the camel's back and she had to give the three away if she wanted to keep her marriage and five. Two of the secret children were adopted out to good lives, sadly the other (the one who got in touch) was adopted into a family with children, and is scarred from his upbringing.

On my Mum's side, there is a half-sibling out there. Who knows if contact will one day occur...

I never had birthday parties as a child; this only came out a couple of years ago when I asked my Mum. Maybe that's why I ensure DS has a party each year (and because he is our one and only...).

My Great-Aunt was married during the war, divorced and then married my Uncle W. I was surprised when she told me because I thought Uncle W had been the only one. True love!

Twims Fri 20-Feb-09 18:20:00

Any more - this was a great thread

lilac21 Fri 20-Feb-09 19:49:17

southeastastra, my mum can go one better - she won a pet rabbit in a fairground aged around 7. It got out of the hutch her brother built a few times, then one day they told her it had escaped. When my mum was 28, my aunt let slip that the family had eaten the rabbit and my aunt didn't realise that my mum had never known that. My nan was a single parent to three kids at this time and money was very tight.

Twims Fri 20-Feb-09 20:13:50

My mums friend's dad used to tease them that they were eating the pet rabbits! hmm

goodnightmoon Fri 20-Feb-09 20:17:30

the open marriage.

i mean, i sort of knew, but i don't know if i needed that much information.

they are divorced, btw.

lalalonglegs Fri 20-Feb-09 20:37:00

GentleOtter - maybe someone else has asked, but why did your parents get your birth date wrong?

Not me, but my dad found out when he was about 18 that his 'cousin' Michael was actually his half brother. My nan (herself an illegitimate child, no-one ever found out who her dad was) had a baby and left him in Ireland, while she moved to London, to be brought up by her mum. Think she only married my grandad as she got pregnant again and didn't have anywhere else to run away to.
I've always known my parents weren't married when I was born (though that was still quite unusual in the early 80's, from what I remember). What I didn't know was they hadn't got married because my dad hadn't got around to divorcing his first wife. I'd always known he'd been married before, but I'd assumed it was over and done with before I was ever thought of.
In summary, my family on my dad's side are very good at popping out sprogs out of wedlock.

TweetleBeetle Fri 20-Feb-09 21:33:43

Recently found out that 2 of my mums siblings are only half (nan had an affair) apparently its an open secret but no-ones confirmed it, mum won;t say anymore, I'll have to ply her with drink one night!

ElenorRigby Fri 20-Feb-09 21:51:55

Found out in the last few years that my aunt was incarcarated in a Magdalene Asylum in Ireland by my grandmother. My aunt was sent there for getting pregnant as a teenager.
My mum took it on herself to forge my grans signature, got her out and put her on a ferry to England.
My cousins (my aunts children) still know nothing about it!

TweetleBeetle Fri 20-Feb-09 21:54:32

Had my step borther live with us for a while when I was younger, then one day he wasn't there - was told he''d gone back home, turns out he was in wormwood scrubs for breaking ans entering!

Twims Fri 20-Feb-09 22:05:12

WOW Elenor Rigby - now thats a story

chocolatefudgebrownie Fri 20-Feb-09 22:06:04

I found out a cousin in our family got pregnant by a lad who was only 13. This was in the 1960's. Don't think the sun got hold of the story
The couple are happily married now and have 2 dcs

skeletonsinthecloset Fri 20-Feb-09 22:14:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LynetteScavo Fri 20-Feb-09 22:17:36

My grandmother swore blind her friend had a virgin birth. She told us this on several occations.

When I was in my 20's my mother explained the woman had been drugged, kidnapped and returned pregnant.

paolosgirl Fri 20-Feb-09 22:19:57

That the 'magic money beach' at Eastbourne didn't really exist, my parents and grandparents had just been burying money in the sand when we weren't looking - although I should have sussed that by the time I was 30, I suppose!

My Great Aunt and Great Uncle weren't married - he'd left his wife and caused a scandal! It was the 50's though...

DH's Great Aunt left her husband and her 2 children, and went to the States where she went on to marry and have 3 more children. Neither family know of each other's existance, and MIL who nearly 80 and of the old school has insisted we don't say anything. It's very, very sad

ScorpiowithabigS Fri 20-Feb-09 22:21:06

I never knew until 4 years ago that my Dad was married before my Mum and had a stillborn ds.

That my mum had an abortion when I was about 9. My dad let it slip a couple of years ago, then looked worried and asked if I knew. I had suspected at the time, so wasn't surprised at all. I'm quite impressed that 9-year-old me had kept her mouth shut (adult me is not very good at that sort of thing). My mum doesn't know that I know.

Lilac, DH found out a similar thing about his pet rabbit too!

girlandboy Fri 20-Feb-09 22:45:43

This is about dh's grandparents.

When they both became very elderly and couldn't manage the stairs in their house it was suggested that they sell the house and move into a flat. They then confessed that they didn't own the house, but had been renting it for 65 years! Not one of their 4 daughters knew this.

Wonderstuff Fri 20-Feb-09 22:58:30

I don't seem to find out any in my family, but I know they are out there, I know I have a cousin who isn't related in the way my gran describes, but I don't know whether she is a blood relative or not. my dads cousin started to research the family tree but stopped because he found too many skeletons! I'm really intrigued, sure I will find out one day

bootlegger Fri 20-Feb-09 23:37:20

I have an older half sister.
Mum told me when I was in my twenties.
Pregnant at 16, from a very religious family, there was no question of being allowed to keep it.
So she was spirited away to a 'unmarrried mums' home in another town. She named the baby and wrote her a letter. Breastfed her for several weeks before the baby was taken off her and handed to the couple waiting in the other room.

Gut wrenchingly sad.

Pinkchampagne Fri 20-Feb-09 23:39:25

That George the tortoise didn't actually run away because I was so naughty (not that tortoises run anywhere!) - he just died!

Twims Fri 20-Feb-09 23:53:26

Aah bet you cried yourself to sleep about George running away PC

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 20-Feb-09 23:59:22

I discovered upon his conviction that I am related to a serial killer. shock

When he was sent down, the papers were full of his life story - and it turned out his mum came from the same tiny, tiny village as my dad, and she and my granny shared a last name. There's no doubt we're related but I don't really want to know how closely... grin

skramble Sat 21-Feb-09 00:06:54

I didn't realise that the nights we spent toasting bread in front of the gas fire was when Mum had nothing else to feed us and that by the time we had spent 15 mins making one slice of toast we didn't really notice that we hadn't eaten anything else for dinner, true I never had a clue we thought it was just a bit of fun.

ThePregnantHedgeWitch Sat 21-Feb-09 00:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePregnantHedgeWitch Sat 21-Feb-09 00:19:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mamas12 Sat 21-Feb-09 00:25:03

Well my Uncle J got run over by a tram during the war and left a pregnant fiance whereupon his brother my uncle M married her and then spent the rest of their lives together going on to have 3 more sons a daughter and the only one who is the spitting image of uncle M is the only one who he didn't 'father'. No one knew until the will was read btw.
This same uncle M went to war and during a 'torture' session where battery acid was being poured onto his legs an allied bomb fell nearby and he managed to escape. There was a dead german soldier in foxhole where he spent some time hiding, he was very respectful for him and when he saw that he was keeping a diary he decided to carry on on that date and wrote everything down in there and NEVER spoke about what was in ther again. Again no-one saw it until the funeral.
We would like to get the first half of the diary translated so we can get a picture of two sides of the same war so to speak.

Twims Sat 21-Feb-09 00:34:09

Wow that diary sounds fascinating Mamas

Flightattendant27 Sat 21-Feb-09 06:26:57

Mum said when I was 19, that she had never loved me!



I kind of knew already. It helped that she finally admitted it...

Am trying to counter the effects in order to have healthier relationship with my own kids. Not sure if it is working yet.

Twims Sat 21-Feb-09 16:50:07


RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Sat 21-Feb-09 17:18:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheyCallMePeachy Sat 21-Feb-09 17:28:14

I was at a PIYO farm when Mum mentioned she got pg as a teenaged asfter a bit of fun {her phrase} with the man who became my Dad (she lost that baby and severalothers after).

Was a bit shock

but not as much as when she ,mentioned she had considered poison for my dad but changed her mind, yes indeedy

bronze Sat 21-Feb-09 17:38:55

That my honorary uncle is in fact my real uncle.
Single Granmother had a fling with someone in the war, think he was an American. Became pregnant and her brother and his wife adopted the baby.

It only came out when my gran was worried that my aunt was getting too close to the man she thought was her cousin (when in fact he was her brother). She {gran} died a couple of years later so we might never have known.

bronze Sat 21-Feb-09 17:40:06

mamas definitely get it translated

Some very interesting & shocking stories on here!

As a child/young adult we all knew that my youngest brother was an 'accident' as there was a 5yr age gap and my parents had moved abroad (leaving behind all baby stuff - so maybe they had 'thought' about another i guess) and had to buy everything again.

Only the other day talking to him about it did i realise that actually think we were all unplanned!

My parents lived in Ireland in the 70's with no contraception so my sis would have been a happy accident, she was only 5mo when i was conceived (14mo age gap) so now realising that i was an accident too. Then they had just moved to the UK when first brother appeared.
Then second brother.

So in fact i am more of an accident than younger brother shock
Makes me feel a bit odd actually...

Mizza76 Sat 21-Feb-09 22:23:31

At a recent family get-together, my father mentioned that one of his aunts, who died recently at 90+, had a fiancee who had drowned before she met her husband. At which point, one of the other cousins who was old enough to remember revealed that in fact, the man hadn't drowned - he had dropped their aunt because his family had objected to the match as she 'wasn't good enough.' The family was so embarrased they never told anyone the truth, including the younger cousins...
(The irony, of course, is that this aunt lived a totally respectable life and brought up a lovely family...)

AtheneNoctua Sat 21-Feb-09 22:29:01

Yeah, my aunt let it slip that my mum was pregnant at her wedding. My parents were divorced at the time and the aunt was dad's sister, whom my mother hates. Whoa, was that a juicy gossip night. grin

Mizza76 Sat 21-Feb-09 22:54:09

Re: all the pet secrets - I can't top the bunny stories. However, when our dog 'disappeared' when I was five, my parents told me they had sent him to a dog farm 'where he could run around with lots of other dogs and have lots of fun'. I was about 18 when I suddenly clicked that I'd never heard of a dog farm.
Turns out he'd bitten someone and had to be put down....

Ozziegirly Mon 23-Feb-09 02:37:55

My grandma died last year, and we found out that she had been married before my grandad. She had then left him to go and work in a nearish city, where she met my grandad and married him - when she was already married to the first man.

She then moved away, and the 1st husband stayed living with my gran's parents for years. He then found out that my gran had had two children (my dad and aunt) and so he divorced her and promised he would never tell anyone.

On the other side, my great aunt had a baby and then met someone else, who didn't want children, so she just left the baby behind, and they moved to New Zealand. The "baby" is now in her late 60s and has a family of her own, and to this day, doesn't know that the dad's new wife isn't her mother and that her real mother is in NZ.

cashmeremafia Mon 23-Feb-09 05:56:23

My parents left me alone at home to go out for dinners. I know it may not be shocking, but I'm still freaked they would leave a 3 months old baby asleep in her cot and drive 10km to another town to eat out. They only did it once though and my Mum shot my Dad a look to keep his trap shut smile

warthog Mon 23-Feb-09 06:37:19

omg cashmeremafia - what were they thinking??? shock shock shock shock

I found out I had a wet nurse, my family were living in Zambia when I was born, they used to always say that I used to sleep out in the hut with the nanny but I never thought through why, dad let is slip a couple of years ago.

cashmeremafia Mon 23-Feb-09 07:14:07

They wanted to have a ^wedding anniversary dinner^ or whatever. My Mum looked totally embarassed when she saw my face.

I thn proceeded to look at my little 4 month old dd and decided I would never do that ever to her. I mean in the light of Maddie and just because I wouldn't.

sometimes wonder if I cried and no one came. sad

cashmeremafia Mon 23-Feb-09 07:15:59

Oh, CL, yes, we had the option with my dd, too. I would never let my dd (or any child thereafter) be raised by the nanny.

gscrym Mon 23-Feb-09 07:28:31

That my dad played Santa at my playgroup Christmas parties. I had no clue. Pulled his beard (real) and everything.

My mum had two affairs before I was born sad. My dad told me and she doesn't know I know.

That my grandfather never loved my grandmother and was kind of forced into marrying her as she was from a wealthy family (until they lost it all in the depression). He then went on to have numerous flings and one was supposed to have resulted in a love-child, although my grandmother never mentioned it.

However when I was at uni and working in a shop this woman came in who looked EXACTLY like my mother - same age, height, hair, look, everything was the same, it was just spooky.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 23-Feb-09 16:12:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSmallClanger Mon 23-Feb-09 21:47:34

Both of my parents are secretive people, and Dad's family in particular has some nasty, if predictable trainwrecks in it, so I get the feeling that all sorts of things will come out when they are gone.

My dad spent part of his childhood in care. He often speaks about his "granny" who looked after him when he was young, and I was always led to believe she was a nanny. A couple of years ago I mentioned her to my aunt, and said something about her being Dad's nanny. My aunt replied with, "oh, you mean his foster mother?"
I have brought the subject up with him, but he claims not to know why he was fostered. He went back to his family in the end, so it can't have been anything too serious.
On a more positive note, when my great-aunt died years ago, we found a box of old 78 rpm records, which to our surprise, included some she'd recorded herself! It turns out that she was the 1940s equivalent of Kathryn Jenkins and recorded a series of popular opera songs. She wasn't as famous as Kathryn though, and as far as I know no-one collects her stuff.
We knew she and my granny were musical (they ran a singing school together), but we had no idea that my aunt had taken her career that far.

kitstwins Tue 24-Feb-09 14:54:33

My mother's first child (a boy) was stillborn after she was alone for a week whilst my father was way and got sick. She was about 7 months pregnant and it was born dead. I never had an inkling although she used to ask me all sorts of strange questions when I was a child (did I believe in limbo? Did I think dead babies were in heaven?, etc., etc.). All highly unsuitable questions for a ten year old to process but my parents were odd so it seemed within their usual paramaters of bizarre/useless. Anyway, it turns out that she'd harboured all this agony over her dead baby being in Limbo (she's Catholic...) until blurting it out to me when I was around 19 years old when we were sitting in the garden. She was pretty dreadful in many respects but I feel immense pity that she carried that loss with her for so long and it was so unspoken. No grave, no footprints on a little card (that's not how they did things in the 1960s). Nothing tangible. She called him S e bastian apparently. He would be 40 had he lived.

Also, there was a huge scandal a hundred or so years back with my Mother's Grt Grt Grt Grandmother (her Grandmother's Grandmother?) who lived in India - all very British Raj! Some Big Dirty Secret that went to the grave with an Uncle who burned all the relevent documents before he died. I would imagine a child born out of wedlock or some such shocker. She was from a well-to-do family so that may have been why it was so hidden. It tallies with some confusion over birth certificates and dates that don't quite match.

Some of these stories are very sad.

nissa Tue 24-Feb-09 20:11:58

I was about 22 when I realised my Dad hadn't actually married my mum because she WAS pregnant.... I was conceived 10 months after they had married.

they divorced when I was young and I just assumed they'd only ever got married out of duty... I mean, they could never have actually wanted to be together right????? Just not possible with those two.......

LouIsAHappyLittleVegemite Tue 24-Feb-09 20:54:40

My Grandfathers mother turned out to be his grandmother. His sister was really his mum. She was only about 15 when she got pregnant in the 20's.
My great aunt supposedly died of influenza in the 50's. Turned out it was a botched backyard abortion.
My real father was invovled in a major australian polical scandal in the 80's´. He used to hide all the incriminating documents etc...

intheLiffey Tue 24-Feb-09 21:23:08

I had lunch with my aunt and my cousins in London once, and they mentioned "the time your dad was in a psychiatric hospital with anorexia". I said, "no, no, no, that never happened". There was silence.

Got home, rang my Mum. Actually yes it did happen. I was so shocked. Men don't get that I said.

My aunt and my cousins had a fight on the tube on the way home. blaming eachother for letting the cat out of the bag apparently.

Bloody hell. That really shocked me. I haven't told anybody in rl. I think I should have namechanged for this.

GorgonsGin Tue 24-Feb-09 21:33:29

DH's mum found out that her "mother" was in fact her grandmother and the woman she though was her sister, was in fact her mum. She thought she had two much older siblings and she had been an accident shock

DH's mum was 46 when she found out - she was clearing out her adored "mother's" stuff after she had nursed her through cancer and stumbled across her birth certificate, which said she was born in Bradford (200 miles away from where she was brought up) with her sister's name as birth mother. Father was given as "unknown".

When MIL begged her "sister" to know who her father was, her sister refused (and still refuses) to tell her anything, saying it "is none of her business" sadshock. No one else in the family seems to know either, although rumours of American airmen and good time girl abound.

Needless to say MIL doesn't talk to her sister sad

MrsLemon Tue 24-Feb-09 21:35:00

At 29 and days away from giving birth to my 2nd child my mother decided it was a good time to have a tearful confession and tell me that she feared I would not cope with 2 kids on my own (my OH is in the forces due to go away for 6 mnths and at that time I lived 550 miles from family) as she could not cope with me (i was the 2nd child) even with the help of my Dad. her mum etc. She then went on to tell me I had been fosterd upto the age of 4. I spent most weekends with my family and the rest of the time with auntie Jean - who was infact my foster mum not my aunt. At the age of 4 my mum thought she could cope so had me back.

It really freaked me out altho it filled in a few blanks I didnt really know were there. At least it explains why there are few photos of me in the pre school years.

intheLiffey Tue 24-Feb-09 21:47:31

Did you not remember Mrs Lemon.

I left my children's dad when dc1 was 4 and a half. I wonder how much she'll remember when shes an adult.

Nontoxic Tue 24-Feb-09 22:20:11

My mum chose a moment when she was staying with me after I'd just had DS1, to tell me that she'd had an abortion.

I'm not sure how old I was, but, wierdly, I found myself saying 'I know' - she said 'your dad never mentioned it afterwards' - but I'd heard her shouting 'I had that abortion for us' during one of their yelling matches, so it obviously did come up.

I've never told my three siblings - my youngest brother could have been between 3 and 7 I think, making me between 11 and 16, but I'd never tell him he might have had a little brother or sister.

It seems one of her mates had said, well, you don't have to have it, and then she discovered another mate had had one.

So that made it okay.

ContainsMildPeril Tue 24-Feb-09 22:26:23

On a more positive note. My DMums best friend is one of 7 - Catholic family.

The middle girl (and BFs big sis) was the result of an affair her mum had with an American airman in the war. Her dad was in a POW camp in Japan and obv her mum didn't know if he was dead or alive. On his return he was a tad shocked but said he didn't blame her and they settled down and had a few more children.

The 'child' in question says that he NEVER treated her any differently to the others smile.

LadyOfWaffle Tue 24-Feb-09 22:42:09

My mum told my cousins (now) wife a few years ago, in a bar (bit tipsy) she had miscarried twins. I was standing there and pretty sure she knew I was but I daren't meantion it incase it upsets her. I would like to know if they were IVF to know if I have a chance of having twins, but I don't think it's worth the possible upset if I meantion it

I know very little about my dads family and one summer my dad went to Kenya with his brother. When he came back he showed me photos and said about one "there's the men I pay to look after my brothers grave". I had no idea he had another brother at all - he was killed in some uprising in Kenya years and years ago. I don't even know my dads dads name.

A few months after DH and I married he said to me "oh , mum said my brothers getting married - shall we go?" I had no idea he had a (half) brother at all! Apparently he was given to DHs mums parents and/or sister to raise though after DH came along - no idea why. No one will tell me and I don't want to ask. I keep finding out new things about DHs family all the time - him too! A cousin added him on facebook but DH couldn't place his surname - turns out he had a different dad to what DH thought (ie his uncle). Same with another cousin who added him on facebook - lived opposite for DH for over 20 years and he never noticed her surname was different! And DH only found out after his dad had died (going through paperwork) that his mum was married to someone else when she had him.

Oh, and before my parents divorced (been seperated 15 + years though at this point) the guy giving a 'quote for the hedges' was actually my mums fancy man!

My mother told me that they fostered a little girl called Carol before I was born and wanted to adopt her but her parents decided they wanted to keep her after all. Then I came along!! Better late than never I suppose.....

.... and just as well I was a girl cos she also told me that if I'd been a boy she would've put ME up for adoption!! (I have 4 older brothers, btw)

Both things made me feel a bit odd, somehow.

ContainsMildPeril Tue 24-Feb-09 22:49:11

PRSB - shock sad

chubbasmum Tue 24-Feb-09 23:22:27

my sweet old granmother who has sadly passed i found out when i was in my early thirties that as sweet as she was she stole her sister`s husband my mum let the cat out of the bag after my dad pissed her off, it never clicked that i had 2 uncles who were the same age and yet they were not twins

MrsLemon Tue 24-Feb-09 23:47:41


Yep I do recall auntie Jean and staying with her lots but I thought she was my auntie and I thought I stayed there the odd night here and there. I didn not realise she was my fostermum and I spent the bulk of my 1st 4years there!!

Was a bit of a shocker really. Not helped by the pregnancy hormones and my own fears abotu coping with DH about to go away for 6 months!

Twims Wed 25-Feb-09 00:31:50

Some of these are really sad

cashmeremafia Wed 25-Feb-09 03:23:37

PRSB: how sad to be thinking you had to go if you didn't perform to grow a pip.

Really, some of these secrets and the way they were passed on makes one rather sad. It's amazing what goes on in normal, respectable families. I find it really amazing though how long some of the stories have survived, normally there's a cut-off after about 3 generations.

intheLiffey Wed 25-Feb-09 09:06:27

MrsLemon, wow. thanks for answering that. After so long, what you believe the facts to have been really plays a large part on 'memory'. So it seems! Interesting isn't it ?

Flower3545 Wed 25-Feb-09 09:22:59

Not from my parents who are both dead, but from other relatives, aunts, sisters of my dad.

I learnt that my dad married mum because she told him she was pregnant, I'm the eldest and was born almost 2 years after they married.shock My mum told one of my aunts that she had felt cheated because she had assumed dad had moneyangry

They lived in with my nanna so it would have been difficult to hide a miscarriage IYSWIM

I also learnt quite recently that my grandfather had died while working away from home and my nanna had gone to see him knowing he was ill but not that he'd died.

My dad who was then 12 years old was given the task, as he was the only boy in the family, of walking 10 miles to let his grandfather know his son had died.
Nanna then had to take in washing to keep herself and her 7 children and my dad and one of his sisters used to collect and deliver back the washing.
At about the same time my dad won a scholarship for gifted children but couldnt accept it for financial reasons. He began work in the shipyards aged 14 and died aged 47.

He had such a hard lifesad

Frasersmum123 Wed 25-Feb-09 12:31:29

My Grandads brother went to prison for Bigamy. This was along time before I was born, and I think they were estranged, but my Dad told me one day they were wathing the news and there was my Grandad's brother on telly. My Grandad never spoke about it.

My dad tried to kill himself when I was younger by trying to crash into a tree, luckily he wasnt hurt. I love my dad so much that it makes me feel so sad when I think about what might have happened.

The TV repair man didnt take our telly, Bailiffs did!

My cat Charlie didnt run away, she crawled into my dads engine and he ran her over.

queenie34 Wed 25-Feb-09 14:15:00

when i was few weeks old my mum gave me to my grandparents and they brought me up but when i got to a teenager my mum decided thet she would tell me that my granddad uesed to beat and rape her as a child ..
i have never asked my grandparents if this is true as i dont want to belive it or bring up the past . me and my mum have never had a relationship and i had the best childhood anyone could ask for ..

Twims Wed 25-Feb-09 15:50:42

Poor you Queenie Makes you wonder why she gave you to people she believes did that to her - although thankfully you had a wonderful upbringing.

CrackerNut Wed 25-Feb-09 15:58:22

When I was about 16 my dad decided to tell me that when I was around 9, a man rang my mum at home saying that he had kidnapped me and was going to do xyz to me.

Apparently my mum and dad rang the police, and school to check if I was there (I was).
The neighbour was then sent to collect me from school whilst my mum and dad spoke to police.

I was then later questioned by police.

The only bit of it I remember is going for a walk in the park with this family friend who was a police offer. Apparently she questioned me in a roundabout way during the walk, but I don't remember what she asked me.

The person who made the call was later arrested and it was discovered that all of his victims had girls with the same first name as mine and he'd got our names from some cinema kids club or something.

I have no idea why my dad decided to tell me, but to this day my mum doesn't know that I know.

Frasersmum123 Wed 25-Feb-09 16:58:17

Gosh CrackerNut, how scary!

CrackerNut Wed 25-Feb-09 17:27:14

I did wish he hadn't told me tbh, although am not bothered by it now.

TheThoughtPolice Wed 25-Feb-09 17:55:26

On the morning of my grandfathers funeral my Mum told me that it was seriously doubted by my lovely Nanna that he wasn't her Dad. A whole can of worms were opened that day....

My Mum is the youngest of 4 (G, G, B, G). It turns out that the eldest child, my aunt was not fathered by my grandfather. Apparently my nanna was in love and engaged to a man who went to war (ww2) when she was pregnant, the man was killed in action sad. My aunt was born and my Nanna married by Grandfather when she was around 2 or 3 because she was ashamed (even though lots of women had a similar experience of being forced into single parenthood by ww2, but she was also pregnant outside of marriage). My GF took my Nanna and her DD on as his own. TBH, I don't think she ever loved him properly, not the way she should have done. I think she settled.

All through my childhood my grandparents seemed unhappy with each other. They slept in separate rooms for 25yrs until they had to move to 1 bed sheltered housing. My Nanna seemed resentful of him (although she was very loving to her children and GC's), my GF was never a very warm person to say the least. Very stiff upper lip.

Anyway, they went on to have 2 more children, a boy and a girl and apparently my Nanna had a liason with another man and shortly afterwards found out that she was pg with my Mum. It was all covered up and brushed under the carpet.

I remember being a child (about 8 or 10) and asking my Nanna why she and my GF never divorced if they weren't happy together (my parents split when I was 6). Her reply was that she felt 'too old to go through all that' and also that she felt it was a waste of time. She was in her early 60's sad.

Nontoxic Wed 25-Feb-09 18:10:36

Flower3545, what a sad story about your dad.

It's bafflng, isn't it, how some people have such hard lives.

So unjust.

I really feel for you and him.

Flower3545 Wed 25-Feb-09 18:19:19

Thanks Nontoxic, in a strange way, although he died when I was 19, its given me a new understanding of him.

He was always a strict father and hated with a passion any form of lies, even white ones.

My aunt also told me that before he met my mother he had fallen "hook line and sinker" for a local girl. Her parents and her were about to set sail to emigrate to New Zealand and my dad moved heaven and earth to find work on a ship so that he could follow her.

He passed every test they gave him except the medical, he was told he had varicose veins and flat feet so was refused a working passagesad

I miss him stillsad

midlandsmumof4 Thu 26-Feb-09 01:28:50

By todays standards this is really silly. My mum & dad had to get married when my mum was 5 months pregnant with my oldest sister-who is now 65. I'm a LOT younger btw & didn't realise this until we celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and I did a quick calculation blush. Dad was always very strict about us girls having BF's-now Iknow why grin.

Twims Fri 27-Feb-09 13:23:58

Your dad sounds lovely Flowers

Rhubarb Fri 27-Feb-09 13:28:20

When my mum left my dad she had always painted him to be a selfish bastard who got the family into debt, was violent and refused to work at the marriage.

Now I know that my dad was banned from working overtime to clear the debts because she deemed this 'family time'. She would invite all her family round at Christmas and they'd all ignore him. She was the one who yelled and screamed, threw plates around and hit us, not him. And she told lies to the Catholic Church to secure her annulment - they never approached him for his views.

I also thought my grandad was just a grumpy old lovable type. I now know that he was forced out of his house with a garden by my his wife and my mum and into a flat on the 5th floor. He used to live for his garden but had that taken away from him. At family gatherings they would ignore him and it was only my dad who used to talk to him.

So in short, the monster in our lives was never my dad, but my mum.

flibertygibet Fri 27-Feb-09 13:52:42

I found out at 18 that I had a half brother. My parents are still together now, after 60 years!

When my mum was in labour with me, she phoned my grandma (my dad's mum) and asked if she would take her to the hospital. My mum had 4 other children at home, my dad was off in another country with his other woman (we think!) and my grandmother said 'no, i've already got into bed!'....eventually my grandfather came and got her and dropped her off a the hospital where she gave birth to me - alone. My dad didn't come for 2 more days.

I loved my grandma and only found this out many years after she died. She was a sweet little old lady but now I feel quite angry towards her.

Twims Fri 27-Feb-09 16:48:48

shock at I've just got into bed!! grin

fuzzypeach Mon 06-Apr-09 22:57:49

Ive just come across this thread, although I dont have anything to add to it, its really interesting!

Deeeja Tue 07-Apr-09 00:23:01

When I was around 8 or 9, me and my younger brother found some old photos in the attic. We looked at them, and there were photos of everyone except for me. Then my mother got out some photos which had all my siblings in, and another little girl, and called her by my name. I was shocked and repeatedly said that it was not me, didn't look like me, and how could I be so much bigger than my younger brother, who is one year younger than me. After a few more photos, and my parents looking panicked, the photos disappeared and were never seen again. I looked everywhere for them.
It turns out they had a daughter who died, and then they adopted me a few years later. I found out last year, through my younger sister when my mother confided in her.

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Tue 07-Apr-09 00:25:48

candy the poodle didnt die in her sleep while we were on holiday.... she was put down sad

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Tue 07-Apr-09 00:27:10

bloody hell deeja. how awful. has it been openly spoken about between you now? you poor thing.

Deeeja Tue 07-Apr-09 00:30:06

Sadly no. My mother refuses to speak to me, or to see my children. I never felt she loved me really. She spent most of my childhood depressed, and very angry. I suppose she never got over losing her daughter, very sad really. sad

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Tue 07-Apr-09 00:31:08

very sad, but especially for you...

NormaJeanBaker Tue 07-Apr-09 00:32:42

My mum was a man.

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Tue 07-Apr-09 00:34:51

really? how?

Claire2009 Tue 07-Apr-09 00:35:38

Haven't read all yet.

But. That my Dad sexually abused my half Brother & best friend. & that I was sexually abused as a kid, around age 5/6 by my half brother.

I've obviously blocked that out but when I kicked off over best friend telling me about my dad I found out everything.

NormaJeanBaker Tue 07-Apr-09 00:41:37

Not really. I'm being a twat.

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Tue 07-Apr-09 00:45:05

oh hmm

NormaJeanBaker Tue 07-Apr-09 00:49:07


I'll get my coat.

Claire2009 Tue 07-Apr-09 01:14:42

That my Mum had an affair with the Driving Instructor.

That my Mum had 8 m/c's before falling preg with my Sister. (sis and me have a 16mth age gap)

That my Mum wanted to divorce my Dad but sadly she died before being able to do so and the guilt she felt for leaving us children behind with him.

That my Dad was in Prison till I was 2 (not for previous post - sexual assault but for buglary & something else which I don't know)

Phoenix4725 Tue 07-Apr-09 07:12:50

when was older found out my brother is my half brother my mum had him before she met my dad and that they did not get married till I was 6 weeks old.but they did go on to have a happy marriage for 33 years till my dad died

on the other side my mum has a older half brother and sister shes never met

and im sure theres few more skeltons in the closet

ilove Tue 07-Apr-09 09:22:59

Wow at all these stories!

gagamama Tue 07-Apr-09 10:09:59

I found out about a year ago that I had a cousin who drowned aged 7 while on an outing with my grandma. He was the only grandchild at the time. His parents threw out his belongings and nobody in the family mentioned him again for fear of causing my already broken-hearted grandma any further heartache. Very sad story in so many ways. I had very mixed emotions about it when I found out.

JimmyMcNulty Tue 07-Apr-09 10:50:10

Mum told me aged about 16 that the reason there was such a big gap between her and dad getting married (when she was 20) and them having my sister and me (when she was 34 and 36) was that dad spent much of that time in a mental institution being treated for his schizophrenia. It had never occurred to me to ask before! Me and my sister knew dad could be 'odd' when we were little and I was told about his illness when I was about 10 as I was arguing with him so much and telling him he was 'nuts'. sad

They are still together; Mum is 71 and Dad is 80.

Nontoxic Tue 07-Apr-09 10:51:38

When I was nine, I came home from school and asked where our cat and her kitten were.

Can't remember my mum's exact words but as I understood it she'd sent them to be put down.

When I asked why she got all defensive and said it was because my dad was out of work and we had no money.

I brought it up during a jovial family conversation recently when my cousin revealed her father (my mum's brother) had killed her terrapin in front of her because her sister's had died and 'it wouldn't be fair if you still had yours'.

When I mentioned the cat and kitten thing my mum said, 'oh no, they went off to a cat's home' and didn't address the fact that I'd always thought they were dead.

Still don't know whether she was rewriting history or telling the truth - but find it telling that she didn't attempt to comfort me or explain it when I was a child, nor did she thirty six years later.

thefortbuilder Tue 07-Apr-09 12:45:43

found out that dh was apparently an unborn guest at his parents wedding - mil and pil are suspiciously evasive about their wedding date - don't do anniversaries etc. told to us by one of dh's aunts

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twoluvlykids Tue 07-Apr-09 13:12:45

This thread is all so moving.

There are more skeletons in my cupboard than I would feel comfortable even looking at, let alone airing.

But one, not too bad in comparison with the others - a few weeks ago, my brother let slip that what I'd remembered as a weekend stay with my scary grandparents (OK, only GF was scary), was not actually a weekend, but for the full 6 weeks of the school holidays.

I was 4, brothers were 5 and 6.

We were over 150 miles away from our parents.


This was so that Mum could have a summer job, or maybe just a break?

Or maybe (most likely) she was very unhappy about going along with it.

OrmIrian Tue 07-Apr-09 13:15:23

Dad had an affair (or so mum strongly suspects). I found out when I as in my 20s when mum was feeling a bit down and ranting on about dad. I stuck up for him mildly and it all came out. Really shocked me.

Haylo Tue 07-Apr-09 14:51:49

My MIL was raised by her gran because her Mum left her abusive husband (who then drank himself to death), she went on to re marry and have two more girls, but left MIL with gran hmm, she now has real issues with being accepted as you can imagine. Only two years ago her real father's family approached her brother (her uncle really) and said someone in the family had left money for her in his will, they still thought of her after 60 years, the Uncle told them to p*ss off she needed nothing from them now or then - FIL was angry her family made the decision for her, it was not about the money shock. She also found a half brother from one of her father's affairs a few years ago.

My mum found out she was pregnant with me the week before her wedding - a few of the older relatives put two and two together when l was born 7 months after the wedding !

My Dad was always told his father died in Canada when he was 6 months old (he had split from my gran because of his cheating), when she died it came out in letters he found that his Dad has actually died when he was six years old and had had another partner and maybe some more children shock

Haylo Tue 07-Apr-09 14:53:37

And another, Dad's cousin accidentally killed her baby brother when 4 years old trying to carry him down the stairs sad, everyone in the family knows but she does not.

ClapClapClap Tue 07-Apr-09 14:56:47

My mum found newspaper cuttings in her attic when she was around 9 (I think) detailing her Dad's marriage to her Mum and her own birth and babyhood. A bit more reading and rummaging later, she discovered that her Dad had been married with a daughter both of whom had been murdered. He was the prime suspect for a while and was in jail but eventually the real killer was found and convicted (death penalty no less!)

It's always really affected my mum and her relationship with her parents.

auburn63 Tue 07-Apr-09 15:15:53

(Have changed my nickname for anonymity, just fot this post)

I found out when I was fourteen that my father is not my real father (we'd moved house and I was unpacking a box of stuff when I came across a baby book about me, where it said "Daddy's name" there was a name I did not know).

I never told my parents that I knew, did not want to upset them when it was clear they had gone to great lengths to hide this from me. I did however, as an adult, get my adoption records from Social Services to see if they matched the name I saw in the book (It turns out I was adopted at three by my mother and my "father"), and they did.

As a teenager I felt quite angry about being deceived, but never told anyone. As an adult (I am now in my 40s) I take a softer view, I suppose. I have told both my husbands, and a psychotherapist I saw when I was getting divorced a few years ago, but never anyone else. I don't think I ever will.

Springfleurs Tue 07-Apr-09 15:21:37

My parents never, got babysitters for us, we were always left alone. When my sister was two she woke up and got out of the house somehow, I was asleep. She wandered the streets then just happened upon the pub they were in. My Mum blamed me (age 7) for letting this happen.

SalBySea Tue 07-Apr-09 15:32:56

my uncle has a daughter from a casualish relationship he was in before he was married. The relationship ended before the baby was born and I dont think he's ever seen her. (my mum and her sister visited the mother of the girl in hospital when the baby was born to offer support of the family even though her brother didnt really want anything to do with it. The mum said that she wanted to do it alone)

His children from his marraige dont know they have an older sister out there somewhere

My friend's mum is a massive slapper! I cant believe I never "clicked" - who goes for coffee or walks with friends at 10/11 O'Clock at night? grin - in my defense, her family havent clicked either. (My mum told me about all the men she's had affairs with INCLUDING the priest who married her daughter and son in law shock)

That I have a half brother
I only found out about 2 years ago
Even though I lived with him (and my father and his mother) for a while I didn't suss

Butkin Tue 07-Apr-09 15:43:10

I've only worked out in middle age that a chap I've known all my life as somebody who "worked" for my grandparents is actually the son of one of my aunties. Apparently she was packed off to Wales for the birth (wasn't married at the time) and then the lad was brought up by my grandparents.

What I find strange is how he didn't want to go and live with his mum when things settled down and everything became more permissive.

AlistairSimnelcake Tue 07-Apr-09 15:46:04

I remember always wondering why my parent's only took us on camping/cottage holidays when all my friend's went abroad and we never seemed to have much money, despite my father having a very well-paid job.

Found out as a teenager that it was because my parent's paid my mum's best friend's rent, as otherwise her and her children would have been homeless.

Very proud of my parents.

JackBauerKilledTheEasterBunny Tue 07-Apr-09 15:48:45

That the photos of the very cute children on the shelves weren't family or friends but my mum's foster children.
She stopped fostering after one boy my age (2 or 3) was given back to his junkie mother after 9 months and she then moved him out of the county to escape SS.

SalBySea Tue 07-Apr-09 15:50:50

I really did think till an embarrasing age that my dog who we couldnt control anymore didnt actually go to live in that lovely farm that we passed once grin

was watching the friend's episode where Ross tells that story and I turned to my house mate to say that my dog really DID go to live on a farm. Then I heard myself!

Lillabet Tue 07-Apr-09 16:58:23

I found out at a big family do that I was conceived on a sheepskin rug. My darling dad (a little tipsy on champagne) announced this across the restaurant table I was sitting at with my mum, DH and darling PILs shock! My mum was mortified. What was worse was that I realised my parents have a photo of me at about 2 months old on same rug blush. The DH thinks it is hilarious and keeps finding great offers on sheepskin rugs!

Clement Tue 07-Apr-09 17:01:02

I didn't realise that I was a complete accident (despite the enormous age gap between me and my sibs) til i was about 30!

misschatterbox Tue 07-Apr-09 20:55:55

I was always told that my uncle died in a motorbike accident, but when I was older my mum told me that he had killed himself.
Something I have always known, but don't think my family know i know is, I remember my parents arguing once, I looked out of my bedroom door up the passage towards the lounge and saw my dad standing over my seated mum and screaming at her, she had blood on her mouth and I remember him marching her to the bathroom to clean her up. They didn't see me, but the next day there was a bloody hand smear on the wall of the passage. Always makes me feel angry and confused when I think of it. My dad used to drink heavily then, but he sorted himself out when I was about 5/6.

Concordia Tue 07-Apr-09 23:35:46

My mum had a stillbirth under 9 months before I was born (i was a bit early). It was a boy which is why they only had boys names for me. I feel a bit weird about this, if that baby hadn't died, i wouldn't exist.

My mum went out with a famous person off the telly for a bit before she married my dad.

and a nice one, I never knew my childminder was a childminder (not until I was 33 and looking for a childminder for DS blush!!!) i just thought i went to play with her kids as they lived down our street. Even when other kids turned up i just thought they were a welcoming kind of family. The innocence smile

The suicide, abortions and undsicovered half siblings are all in DH's family shock

Weeteeny Wed 08-Apr-09 00:18:27

My mum's cousin has died recently, and she confided in me that he was actually her half brother.
She found out when she was six, when she caught her mother and her "cousin's" father together. He told her as a way of keeping her quiet, threatening if you like that it would detroy families. The little soul never told anyone. Until now. Appears her mother had a long standing affair with her sister's husband.
The man who brought her up believing her to be his own was lost at sea when she was eight, she cried when she told me that he would always be her "real" dad to her. She is 73 now. Very sad.
Has given me a very differnt view of my grandmother now.
The only positive is that my mum and her cousin developed a very special bond.

What an amazing thread

thell Wed 08-Apr-09 00:40:54

Lillabet - my younger sister was also conceived on a sheepskin rug, and yes, it was the 'baby' rug - bought for me when I was a baby and we were all three photographed on it at various points!!

My Mum also had her rabbit eaten when her parents were particularly hard up.

Wow, there are some really sad stories on here - I hope everyone has managed to deal with these issues in RL.

My only real secret, confided to me by my Mum, is that I have a cousin whose father is not her real father, and no-one else in my family knows this. It's pretty sad, as she is an only child and her 'parents' divorced when she was very small. She had no relationship with him really until she was a teenager, then they both tried hard to make a bond. He doesn't know she was the result of an affair.

It's good to know my family aren't the only ones with skeletons, there are some sad ones on here though.
I've found out all of the following over th past 10 years,
4 of my Grandpa's 14 siblings weren't blood relatives, they were neighbours and their Dad was killed in the war and their Mum commited suicide, I never thought it was strange he had two brothers called Peterhmm

My mum's sister is actually her half sister. My Grandma got pg by an American soldier who then went back home to his wife, after dropping her off at a home for unmarried mothers.angry

Doctors thought I was being sexually abused as a toddler because of recurrent cystitus[sp], ss were involved and I had to live at my gp's for a month, it was only when it carried on they beleived my parents were inoccent.

My Grandma used to grow weed in the 60's ad 70's explaining why my parents weren't bothered when I smoked it as a teenager.

BeatrixRotter Wed 08-Apr-09 09:32:41

Apparently my grandad (mum's dad) was married and had a child, then had an affair with my gran, got her pregnant and luckily for my gran (not so much for the first family) got a divorce and married her.

I knew my mom was pregnant when she got married and asked my dad about it once. He told me she had basically 'let' him sleep with her a number of times as it was her aim to get pregnant. She had such a terrible home life this was her way of escaping. I didn't really like finding that out but had to accept that if you ask questions you may not like the answers.

I would like to trace my mum's half-sibling, not sure whether I can or should.

lilacclaire Wed 08-Apr-09 10:41:54

My great gran (who did not die until my mid twenties) had schizophrenia but we didnt find out until I was around 20 as it wasnt spoken about (explains some of her behaviour), her brother also died in an asylum and schizophrenia was listed as the first cause of death (only found out years after my grans death as we went through some documents).

My mums dad left my gran and my mum after having an affair with a woman who also left her children and husband and they set up home together, having more children. They lived a few streets away from where I grew up, but I didn't even know they existed as my mums dad did not acknowledge her, she never met her half brothers or sisters.

My dads dad was one of many brothers who were farmed out to different families and therefore took on the surnames of the families they went to. Have no idea what my dads proper surname should have been or what happened to the other brothers.

As far as my own parents, well no direct skeletons with them that I know of grin

heather1980 Wed 08-Apr-09 11:38:16

not as serious as some but i found out when i was about 12/13 that my aunt has a different name than the one she was known by.
we were at her house and my mum shouted downstairs her real name. me and my cousins were a bit puzzled until she admitted that she had changed her name.

turned out that when she was born my gran wanted to name her after my greatgrandmother. but grandad got confused and named her after my grans mother and not his. she should have been called catherine but was instead named fanny. my gran was not immpressed!

i found out that my parents divorced when i was about 5. i never knew because he died a year later from cancer and it was never mentioned again.

My cousin was adopted by my uncle and aunt when he was a baby.
When I was about 12, my mum told me that he was actually born to my uncles sister (my aunt) and then my uncle and aunt adopted him as they couldn't have children of their own.

They then moved to Australia (10 pound thing in the 60's) so that they could bring him up where no-one knew them.

They came back to the UK in the 80's and my cousin still doesn't know, he's in his 40's now. He has got brothers and sisters but he thinks that they are his cousins.

It is all so sad, he sees his birth mum regularly but knows her as his aunt.sad

Notquitegrownup Wed 08-Apr-09 12:17:47

A happy one from me. Found out that my beloved cat, who had died when I was tiny - well disappeared from house assumed dead - had in fact been given away by my parents as it kept getting worms and they were worried about 3 year old catching them. Apparently they thought it kinder for me to think that she had died than been given away [hmmm] though 30 years later had forgotten all about it, so the truth slipped out! I was hugely relieved and happy grin grin

lilacclaire Wed 08-Apr-09 12:45:30

Hmm, my cat ran away from home as well when I was little hmm

scouserabroad Wed 08-Apr-09 13:17:31

Not really a skeleton in the closet, more a nice story. My great grandmother had a very premature baby way back in about 1910. Premature babies usually died within a few days, so the doctor & priest said it was better to take the baby away so « the mother doesn't get upset ». shock My great grandmother refused, and managed to express breastmilk and fed the baby by filling a fountain pen with milk, and dripping it into it's mouth. The baby had to be fed like this every half an hour, night and day for about two months, but she survived and lived well into her eighties.

Notquitegrownup Wed 08-Apr-09 13:30:46

Scouser! shock smile shock

JJsandcat Wed 08-Apr-09 13:35:33

scouser: what a great story. smile

fuzzypeach Wed 08-Apr-09 19:57:31

wow some really sad stories on here sad
and also some really lovely touching ones!

One that springs to mind with my family is that my nan's brother had 9 children with his wife. Bearing in mind that they were both white, you might wonder why my great uncle did not realise that 3 of them weren't his when they came out with coloured skin. His wife had had an affair with the man next door, and everyone in the family and street obviously realised that they were not my uncles children, except my uncle himself! They even went on to have 3 more children together after the 3 that werent his. He brought them all up after his wife left him, and the children themselves were devastated when at the age of around 13-16 their real dad turned up on the doorstep telling them everything - they (and my uncle) had seriously had no idea all that time and just laughed off the comments about the colour of their skin saying they were just olive skinned!!

walkinthewoods Wed 08-Apr-09 20:26:13

I didn't find out til I was 30 that my mum was a 'result of the war'. I knew that she did not know her father and that her Mum was pg at the age of 16. What I didn't know (but evryone in my family did and presumed I knew) was that my Nan had a fling (if this is the word if you're aged 16) with a GI. He buggered back off to America. I was so shocked and a bit pissed off that everyone knew but me.

Mum was never a one to sit down and tell us the truth when we were younger. There were a few other choice things I found out over the years.

Pwsimerimew Thu 09-Apr-09 18:09:16

Keep going - don't stop! I love reading these true stories!

Liskey Thu 09-Apr-09 21:48:43

Everyone in the family was shocked a few years ago when my dear Gran had a few drinks and told everyone that my great uncle was in fact her son not her brother. She'd had him at 16 and her financee had been killed in the war.

My Grandad came along later and wanted to adopt him but her parents wouldn't let him. Really impressed when I heard, as my Grandad was very staid and set in his ways, but he wanted to accept him as his son.

EvaLongoria Fri 10-Apr-09 11:08:24

These are really amazing stuff and to think that parents can keep such important things away.

Well I found out at the age of 8 that the parents and brother and sisters I lived with wasnt really my mom and dad and siblings but my aunt (dads sister) and husband and their kids, Then I was introduced to my family and had to stay with them. Found out I had 7 siblings.

Only last year when I went to visit my parents in South Africa to show them the baby did my sister probe a little more as to why I was sent to live with my aunt

Not me, but DH. He thought his aunt and uncle died in a car accident, he found out 2 years ago, that his uncle murdered his aunt and then killed himself

fuzzypeach Sat 11-Apr-09 13:28:35

shock sparkly

Arcadie Wed 22-Apr-09 13:35:03

bump? If that's not too rude after such a long gap?

slummybutyummy Tue 05-May-09 00:40:22

Wow, what amazing stories! Thanks for sharing them, don't think I can compete though.

CharlieandLolasMum Wed 08-Jul-09 21:21:10

Are there anymore?

Wigglesworth Wed 08-Jul-09 21:38:35

Ok here's one, my friends Mum has been with her partner (not my friends Dad) for about 7 years I think. She lied about her age when she met him (he is about 10 years younger than her) and said she was 5 years younger than she is. They now live together and have done for a few years and he STILL doesn't know her real age.

Wigglesworth Wed 08-Jul-09 21:39:43

I know my previous post isn't related to her being a child but still, so many skellingtons.

crankytwanky Wed 08-Jul-09 22:15:33

My mum got blotto and told me my step-mum had had a termination. About the same time us kids were petitioning them to have a child together,

Also, I mentioned to my Dad I'd had a dream in which 2 older people claimed to be my siblings. He said "It's funny you should say; I got a girl PG whilst in the RAF, and had to move to stop being pestered into marriage!"
He doesn't know if she kept it. It was the 70's, so who knows?

drunken probably parents forgot the stockings on christmas eve!
had to put off christmas for a day shock

just started to read this thread, lot worse stories than mine,

Scorpette Wed 08-Jul-09 22:23:03

After my Granddad's death in 97, he left me his photo albums, as it was a shared passion. In one there was a very old picture of a black man (I'm white). I asked my mum who it was and she said casually, 'Oh yeah, that's your great-granddad'! I'm really chuffed to have a slightly more interesting heritage than most, but I would've loved to have been able to ask my Granddad some questions, as now we don't know where Great-Granddad came from, etc. (Mum recalls him having an 'unusual' accent but he died when she was about 10). On the plus side, it says a lot about how unbiased my family is - it wasn't seen as a big deal, so although I'd heard quite a few stories about him, no-one had ever mentioned his colour. Slightly jealous that my mum and brother are olive-skinned with nearly-black hair and look Spanish/Italian but I just look pale and British angry

Also, I learnt a few years ago that I had THREE years of speech therapy between the ages of 5-8, twice weekly - I had an operation for extreme tongue-tie and had to relearn how to speak, apparently. I can remember that after I was discharged from hospital (I was 3) we had cottage pie at my maternal grandparents' home, but cannot remember a single thing about the therapy!

QueenofSpleen Wed 08-Jul-09 23:19:03

At DH Nanna's funeral it was discovered that she had been married three times not twice and had four children not the three we had always imagined.

CharlieandLolasMum Thu 09-Jul-09 11:28:45

Miggsie Thu 09-Jul-09 20:19:19

Here's mine:

My uncle, whom my very straight laced respectable mother always referred to as "that bastard" which should have given me a clue really...was a Polish Nazi collaborator. He had been in Austwitz...but as a guard. He claimed he was a prisoner till someone pointed out you don't leave Auswitz with a head full of gold teeth.

Anyway he was a real bastard and once married to my aunt he instantly gave up work and started to hit her. She actually had an abortion instead of a second child as she could not stand the thought of another child being born to him. This was in the 60's but she was a nurse so mangaged to get a doctor she knew to perform an abortion.

Their son is an alcoholic and has a lot of emotional problems due to his father.

From the age of 13 my mother suddenly started saying I didn't need to visit my aunt and uncle and was old enough to stay home on my own...not an option I ever got when we visited other relatives. Then when uncle and aunt visited mum would say "surely you need to visit a friend now?" and shove me out of the room.
I discover years later that said uncle had revolting sexual tastes and they had found him taking my photos out of the photo albums and putting them in his wallet...

My aunt would never leave him though as she was religious and said she had made her marriage vows but I find the idea she preferred to abort her baby than have him be a father (she was terrified the child would be a girl which apparently it was) really terrifying.

That uncle is dead now and I really hope he is burning in Hell, as it is where he belongs.

GIvePeasAChance Thu 09-Jul-09 20:28:59

I found out my dad drowned my rabbit then blow dried him and put him back in his hutch.


Probably sounds worse than it before all animal martyrs come knocking. The rabbit had mixi and needed putting down anyway. Just saved him the £ 40.

Extended Sun 12-Jul-09 14:56:33

My maternal Grandfather was said to have run off to America when my Mother was 7. In fact Uncle Alf, who was supposed to just be a friend of the family, and who visited every few years after my Grandma died was my Grandfather.

I was told this after he died! Nobody would ever tell me why this charade was acted out for so many years. sad

melmog Sun 12-Jul-09 15:04:01

I found out when I was in my thirties that my Grandparents were never married. That my Grandad had another family living just around the corner from my Grandma. My Mum grew up playing with the kids he had with this other woman (his wife!!) and called them cousins as they were so close.

Lifeinagoldfishbowl Fri 01-Jan-10 21:00:43

This was in my watch list - any other interesting stories

bearcrumble Sun 03-Jan-10 12:05:05

This is a fascinating thread, but it's really sad that there are so many unhappy stories, secrets and lies.

When I was in my late teens my mum told me that after she'd told my dad she wanted to divorce him, he traced her to her boyfriend's flat and turned up with a shotgun in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other and threatened to shoot them both if she tried to get the house. So that's why mum and I left and went to live with my grandmother.

My dad told me that it was me talking that led him to know who my mum's boyfriend was. Apparently I'd told him about going to the boyfriend's son's birthday party. That made me feel like it was all my fault and I'd somehow exposed my mum.

My grandad confided in my mum that my grandmother never slept with him again after my mum was born. She was their only child.

My husband's mum told him on the eve of our wedding that his dad had run off with another woman and left her alone with my husband as a small baby for quite some time. He did come back though, and they are still together now.

In fact, she didn't tell my husband directly - she told my mum as me and my husband were walking down the street behind them open mouthed. She obviously wanted him to hear because she's made reference to it since.

Families are strange.

AnnieBeansMum Sun 03-Jan-10 12:15:07

I found out shortly before my wedding that I had a twin sister who died shortly after birth. DH and I were having a wedding video done and the videographer wanted photographs of both of us from birth onwards. E-mailed my mum (she lives in a different country) and asked her to post some photos to me. There was one of two babies with "AnnieBeansMum and Gabrielle - 2 days old". I rang my mum immediately and asked who the heck Gabrielle was. She told me she was my sister who had died when we were 6 days old. Cause of death was unknown - she just stopped breathing. My mum thought this would be the easiest way to tell me (after 24 years! hmm)

luffle Sun 03-Jan-10 13:27:46

When I was 3/4 my older brother's best friend (who was about 13?) used to get my in quite corners and basically grope me all over. At the time I felt flattered by the attention, but realise now he was sexually abusing me.

My Mum worshipped her Dad and basically had a bit of an Electra complex about him. As we were growing up we were expected to worship him too. But as we got older Mum began to tell stories of when she was little and it was obvious her Dad was obviously some kind of closet sadist. He often used to hit her repeatedly, and kick her even when she was curled up on the floor. He also used to regularly lock her and her younger brother in the porch for several hours, in the depths of Winter, when he felt they'd been playing too loudly (they were only 3 and 5).

My parent's friend's 7 year old daughter was taken into hospital because she had supposedly fallen onto a cricket stump and badly injured her privates so much that she would never have children. Mum told me years later that the injury was caused by her own Dad raping her. But this was back in the Fifties on an army base (and the Dad was a high ranking officer) and apparantly nothing was ever done about it.

That when my Dad was supposedly bunking in with a work collegue during the week to save a long commute, he was infact living with his 23 year old secretary.

That MIL had an older sister who died when she was only 10 months old. The official story was that MIL's Mum had fallen downstairs whilst carrying the 10 month old. In actual fact my MIL had murdered her 10 month old DD because she was suffering with severe PND. My MIL's MUM spent several months in a psychiatric hospital before being discharged and went on to have 3 more daughters.

FIL allowed his family and friends to assume he had graduated from university back in the Sixties. Infact, he had failed his first year and had to leave but kept it very quiet. He was left with loads of egg on his face after constantly mocking my BIL for only graduating from a second rate polytechnic, and MIL snapped and informed the family of how FIL hadn't even managed to graduate from any university. They didn't speak for weeks.

luffle Sun 03-Jan-10 13:30:21

"In actual fact my MIL had murdered her 10 month old DD"

Sorry, that should read

" In actual fact my MIL's Mum had murdered her 10 month old DD"

Blimey some of these stories! shock

Found out that my Dad had a brother when my sister found a photo of him with a tennage boy obviously taken a long time ago. My sister asked who it was 'Oh my brother' dad replied.

Dad won;t answer any questions. We know he s dead and his first name but that is it. Even my Mum doesn't know and they've been married 43 years!

Also when I was doing a quiz on life expectancy I was about 16- found out that my Mums Mum had killed herself and my Mum found her. She was about 17.

found out last week that Grandma died New years Day.

Lots of secrets in our family

cyteen Sun 03-Jan-10 14:14:57

Reading Wigglesworth's post from July reminded me of someone I used to know who told his second wife that he was 39 when actually he was 60! When I knew him they'd been married two years and she still didn't know.

butterscotch Sun 03-Jan-10 19:00:11

Blimey some really sad stories here sad

starshaker Sun 03-Jan-10 19:11:25

my very strict family who think sex out of marraige is totally wrong let it slip that my grandads mum was 13 when she had her first child 14 with her second 16 with her third was married at 17 then went on to have more kids. Oh and her husband was her cousin. Bit of a shocker

BigBadMummy Sun 03-Jan-10 20:10:05

my dad ran over our cat.

They always told me that it had been run over on the main road about half a mile from our house. Apparently though he did it backing out of the drive.

That happened when I was 10 and I found out when I was 35

Oh and my mum was pregnant with me when she got married. I am not very good at maths and I was 15 before I realised that if they got married in March and I was born in August something was a bit amiss.

lornski Sun 03-Jan-10 21:26:52

found out when i was 18 that i have a half cousin...
my aunt had fallen pg and was chucked out of the family home by my Gps so my mum and dad (newly weds) took her in, she was then whisked away to a mum and baby home to have the baby who was subsequently adopted.....
thing is - aunt then went on to get married and have 4 more kids - and as i went to school with all of them i dont think any of them know about this baby......
what they definitely dont know is that the child was coloured - and if my granny ever found out it would kill her - she's a horrible racist and the rudest woman out - its been on the tip of my tongue to say something to her on a few occasions just to make her shut up complaining about my mother....

starshaker Sun 03-Jan-10 22:01:58

oh this 1 wasnt me but a mate i went to school with.
She started seeing this older guy who was seriously seriously fit (we were all jellous). Anyway when she took him home to meet her mum it turned out the guy was actually her dad and he had no idea about her. Was really awfull for her. Luckily things hadnt gone as far as them sleeping together.

TeamTennant Sun 03-Jan-10 22:49:56

My Grandfather kept a wife and four children in a house in the country, whilst keeping a flat in London with his lover. He'd spend the working week with "her" and come home to the family at weekends.
At one point he even had the lover move in with the family for a year or two. This was all in late 40's/early 50's. Grandmother obviously knew about this, my eldest aunt was the only child who worked out what was going on.
When my grandmother died in the mid 70's my grandfather married his other woman. They spent two years together before he died.
I was about 12 when I finally realised I didn't know quite who "Grannie Flora" was. My Mum explained the history. My aunt is still bitter about her father's treatment of her mother.
I swing between disbelief that a man (and war hero too) can do that to his wife and children, disgust that Flora could treat another woman in that way and pity for Flora that she waited all her life for this man and only had two years with him in the end.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Jan-10 23:26:06

My mum had always told me that she'd chosen my middle name to remember her cousin, who'd died aged 16 in a car crash. What she only told me when I was older was that the cousin was running away with her boyfriend, because her family didn't approve of the relationship (he was black) and she was pregnant.

ItsGraceAgain Sun 03-Jan-10 23:41:30

My Granddad had another 'wife' and daughter shock
Granny found out in her 60s - I think the daughter contacted her. She stayed with Granddad though. My Dad got in touch with his half-sister and they remained friendly.

I don't know any more than that - but some woman came up to me at my aunty's funeral, wittering on about how close she & Dad had been, and saying how she held me as a baby. If she was the sister, then Dad knew her far better and for longer than he let on. If not ... she was another woman who'd been very close to him, without Mum's knowledge hmm

Who needs East Enders, eh?

MrsMorgan Sun 03-Jan-10 23:45:20

When I was 16, my dad told me that when i was 10 a bloke rung the house one day saying he'd kidnapped me, and was going to do xyz to me.

He hadn't, I was at school perfectly unharmed, but he knew my full name and phone number.

When my dad told me, I did then remember a neighbour (who happened to be a police woman) taking me to the park and asking me questions, but I can't remember what.

BertieBotts Mon 04-Jan-10 00:01:41

Oh and less skeleton-in-the-closet, more random childhood obliviousness, but my Dad did a few funny things when I was young.

He went round the world when I was about 11, with my now stepmother (they got married in Las Vegas on the way) and I realised a few months ago that I had no memory of the first time I saw him when he got back, which considering he was gone for about a year puzzled me. I mentioned it to my mum and apparently he came back from his big trip round the world and proceeded to not see me or my sister for about 6 months because he "had nowhere to live" hmm

Then when we did see him he was living in a weird place which called itself a farm but was a load of outbuildings converted very shoddily into flats. When they lived there I noticed they had developed a weird parenting technique of saying things about us loudly for us to deliberately overhear. Eg one night we were in bed (me, my sister and 2 cousins) and I heard my Dad say "E & E (our cousins) have been really good haven't they. We'll have to tell their mum and dad. Gold star." - it was weird, even I could tell adults didn't really talk like that. Last year they mentioned the place as my stepmum's mum is living there and apparently the whole time they lived there they were off their faces drunk hmm as was everyone who lived there because it was such a weird, depressing place. And the people in the flat above were growing cannabis. And that would kind of explain why I was chased through the woods there by an unaccompanied dog. The weirdest thing was this was all as recent as 2000/2001!

My mom told me all this a couple years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and felt very mortal. She's since beaten the cancer, but is glad she told me.

She had no idea she was pregnant with me until three months; was having regular periods and everything. She got horribly drunk at a party and literally crawled home. When she discovered a short time later that she was pg, she arranged an abortion as she felt sure to have done irreparable damage with the drinking. At the last minute, on the table with doctor ready to go she changed her mind and went home.

I had a twin that was miscarried.G

My parents got married when she was six months gone just to shut my maternal grandmother up. They divorced when I was 9.

My mom had a miscarriage after I was born. My sister was born the year after. When my younger sister was three, one day out of the blue she said to mom "I tried to come before, but you weren't ready yet.". Mom was quite shaken by it.

And last but not least, the night I had such a great time (9yo) throwing a whole flat of cherries at the chicken shed and finding it hilarious when they exploded was the same night that I apparently ate the "grown-up brownies". I don't recall being aware that there were kids brownies and grownup ones. I do remember how much fun throwing the cherries was. Mom was horrified when she realized and still feels crap about it.

ItsGraceAgain Mon 04-Jan-10 01:02:22

BananaPudding What you little sister said is amazing!! Spooky, but more amazing.

Lol @ the grown-up brownies wink Glad your Mum recovered well.

Mermaidspam Mon 04-Jan-10 01:28:38

My DH only found out how badly his Dad used to treat his Mum when she was telling me, about 3 years after we met.

Also, about 3 weeks before Xmas, his Mum casually mentioned his brother John when DH was speaking on the phone to her. DH hung up about 10 minutes later and said "Well fuck me. Did you know I had a brother called John? Apparently, he's the oldest?" (MIL & FIL split up when DH was 8 (I've never met him) and FIL was something of a serial-shagger during their marriage apparently).

She had never mentioned this person before <baffled>

HellBent Mon 04-Jan-10 02:42:21

This is quite long...

My papa died a few years back.

My sister's DH was trying to get the day off work to attend the funeral (he was sales manager at a car firm). The general manager told him that one of the new mechanics (about 20yrs) had asked for the same day off for his papa's funeral too and asked if they knew each other.

Turns out that my uncle (about 40 yrs) had an affair with a woman and this child was the result but no-one else knew.

My uncle didn't keep in touch but my papa (65 yrs) did.

Wait for it.... because it could have been my uncles or my papas baby, woman had been having an affair with both of them!

For some reason this was "just one of those things" for my dad as they were both known to mess about with other women while both married! He was quite shocked when I mentioned the mechanic was either a half nephew or half brother! He wa surprised at this but hasn't taken it any further

HellBent Mon 04-Jan-10 02:46:32

Also my papa's brother commited suicide after his grandaughter threatened to tell everyone that she had abused him. Before he did it he told everyone that she had lied and was trying to get money out of him thinking he would just hand it over. don't know the truth as she moved away and doesn't speak to anyone but he was a bit weird and I tend to believe her sad

nannynobnobs Mon 04-Jan-10 19:25:49

Blimey some of these are really heartbreaking! Mine is nothing like so dramatic.
I only remember my parents arguing once when I was a kid- My mum shoved a mirror over in the bedroom and it smashed on the floor. I went upstairs to see what happened and my mum was standing over my dad who was in bed.
Turns out that my dad for most of our childhood would regularly go and waste the family shopping money playing cards with his friends in a room above the pub. He even did it on Christmas eve once, and my mum had to get my auntie to open her shop on Christmas day when my dad was rolling in bed hungover just so she could get some food in for Christmas.
I remember it being a standing joke that my dad would go out for food shopping on a Saturday morning and return on Sunday evening! How little we thought of it but I'm surprised my mum stayed for 20 years. He was always in the pub- it was rare we did anything with him so when we did it was a treat and he was the 'fun parent'.
I mentioned last year that I remembered once she'd made mashed potato patties, rolled them in crushed bran flakes and fried them like fritters- they were gorgeous. She laughed and said "That was because there was NOTHING to eat once again!" My poor bloody mum- I remember my childhood as being truly fun, I was loved, cared for and had such a good time- how much she had to keep things going and normal for us!

yousaidit Wed 06-Jan-10 20:43:31

.. that my parents had sex shock

that my dad spent christmas day one year under an upside down lorry helping ambulnce staff rescue a driver in a car accident, he is a fireman, i only knew when i found a press photo. it was freezing cold, full of snow and unstable but they didn 't have time to secure the lorry before going in to help the bloke...

yousaidit Wed 06-Jan-10 20:44:08

.. sorry, it was unstable bec ause it had landed over a rivery ditch sort f thing.


did you post that story on this thread previously with a different name ?
(the kidnap one)

TruthSweet Thu 07-Jan-10 13:48:09

My mother lived with her Aunt & Uncle in her teens after her step mother married my grandad and decided she didn't want any of his children. The step mother burnt almost all their possessions - all mum had was 1 pair of pants, 2 of GDads vests, 2 blouses her sister had thrown in the bin and 1 skirt with a bleach stain on it and no shoes shock.

Now I knew she went to live with A&U as child and they didn't have any children of their own but what I didn't know was when my Great Uncle was on leave from the Army (WW2) his wife got pregnant. His mother and sister convinced my great aunt that he would be killed in battle and as they were not going to help bring up the grandchild she had better get rid of it. The mother made my great aunt drink something which caused her to lose the baby and left her infertile.

My great uncle blamed my great aunt for not being able to carry a baby. A belief which was fostered by his mother. He never knew his own mother had aborted his only child (or indeed that it had even existed) and had left his wife unable to have any more.

aurynne Fri 08-Jan-10 01:14:14

This is one of the most interesting MN threads I've read!

I actually believed for a very long time that my family was extremely boring until the day a young woman appeared at my dad's shop and announced that she was his daughter. She was right. She's two years older than me and neither my mom nor my dad (or my younger sister) knew about her. She was the result of a short fling my dad had with a girl who subsequently left and didn't tell anyone about her pregnancy.

The story gets even more interesting (and tragic). This girl's mother was adopted herself, and mentally unstable. She married a guy (the only one my half-sister remembers as her "dad") who died of cancer when the girl was just five, and committed suicide when the girl was 18, and her grandparents (who weren't really her grandparents) died of old age, so my half-sister found herself alone in the world and managed to find her real father (my dad).

Fortunately this story had a happy ending. After almost costing my dad a divorce (my mum got really upset at this, even though it happened before she met my dad) today we all keep contact and my half-sis got married and has a beautiful DS (the spitting image of my dad at his age!) and is pregnant with her second child.

On a different note, and to join in with some pet stories... I had a dog who lived at my grandparents' farm which had puppies. When my grandma told me they were born, I rushed to see them. Three beautiful male puppies which I instantly fell in love with. I had always known we couldn't keep them, so I moved heaven and earth to find families to adopt the three of them. Soon after they were given away, a neighbour told me that initially seven puppies had been born, but my grandma killed all the female puppies "because it was harder to find someone who wanted them". I never understood why the need to kill the poor puppies, when I would have gladly worked harder to find houses for all of them. She didn't have to lift a finger. Never forgot and never forgave.

diddl Fri 08-Jan-10 08:54:38

My husband has just discovered that a relative of his killed his wife with an axe because he thought she was having an affair & then committed suicide.

Grabaspoon Mon 16-May-11 10:27:06

I have recently found out

- my great grandfather was the stage manager for the original windmill girls.
- my grandfather was one of 22 children (23 orginally).
- we descend from eastern european jews who came over to east london and were around at the same time as jack the ripper.

StellaSays Tue 17-May-11 17:47:47

Bit of a mystery here, my Granndad died a few years ago and when he was alive had a special box that my Granny was never allowed to look in. Before he died he asked my Granny to look in it byt she refused probably because that would have meant accepting he was dying.

After he died she looked in the box and found an old picture of a young girl with a girls first name, the name of a German town on the back and Winter 194-something (can't remeber exact date). She has been kicking herself ever since thinking that he might have had a secret dd that he wanted to tell her about but since she didn't look in the box he never did.

I guess we'll never know now but it intrigues me!

Mine is very tame in comparison to these

I discovered that a family friend (known for all my life) had actually been my mum's boyfriend. Don't know the details of how it ended but since he and his ex wife were close friends with my parents, presumably there wasn't much scandal.
Until that point (I probably was about 11) I hadn't thought of my mum with anyone other than my dad!

Oh and I discovered when I was quite old that my dad had been questioned under suspicion of being the Yorkshire Ripper. As had every other man of certain age and colouring who lived in Yorkshire with a Wearside accent but still - what a claim to fame!

maddy68 Tue 17-May-11 19:17:15

I remember fondly sitting in the dark in the kitchen on my mums knee while she read to me by the light of the solid fuel boiler with the top left wide open.
I was telling my mum the other day how lovely it was and she told me that it was after my dad had left and she had no money so it was either heat or electric not both!
I never realised that my dad had never paid any maintenance and my mum was really poor

Rowgtfc72 Tue 17-May-11 19:18:01

When I was about seven I found a death certificate for a sister who had died at twelve hrs old that I didnt know about. My mum told me she had been buried in a coffin that looked like a tiny white shoebox - just like the one in the bottom of her wardrobe. I had nightmares about that for weeks. She would have been 40 this year. Dad never mentions her.

Grabaspoon Tue 17-May-11 19:26:03

Gosh Stella I wonder who the girl is smile

When I was 16, my dad told me that when I was 10 a man rang up my mum at home and told her he had kidnapped me, and what he was going to do with me.

Police were called, and they and a neighbour raced to school to see if i was there (i was) and neighbour took me home.

I was then taken to the park by a policewoman who was a family friend and questioned. I do remember being taken to the park by her, but don't remember what she asked me, or anything else about the day.

The man was caught too.

iMum Tue 17-May-11 20:03:44

his story is on here 3 times now!

TheOriginalNutcracker Tue 17-May-11 19:29:27
When I was 16, my dad told me that when I was 10 a man rang up my mum at home and told her he had kidnapped me, and what he was going to do with me.

Police were called, and they and a neighbour raced to school to see if i was there (i was) and neighbour took me home.

I was then taken to the park by a policewoman who was a family friend and questioned. I do remember being taken to the park by her, but don't remember what she asked me, or anything else about the day.

The man was caught too.

CrackerNut Wed 25-Feb-09 15:58:22
When I was about 16 my dad decided to tell me that when I was around 9, a man rang my mum at home saying that he had kidnapped me and was going to do xyz to me.

Apparently my mum and dad rang the police, and school to check if I was there (I was).
The neighbour was then sent to collect me from school whilst my mum and dad spoke to police.

I was then later questioned by police.

The only bit of it I remember is going for a walk in the park with this family friend who was a police offer. Apparently she questioned me in a roundabout way during the walk, but I don't remember what she asked me.

The person who made the call was later arrested and it was discovered that all of his victims had girls with the same first name as mine and he'd got our names from some cinema kids club or something.

I have no idea why my dad decided to tell me, but to this day my mum doesn't know that I know.

MrsMorgan Sun 03-Jan-10 23:45:20
When I was 16, my dad told me that when i was 10 a bloke rung the house one day saying he'd kidnapped me, and was going to do xyz to me.

He hadn't, I was at school perfectly unharmed, but he knew my full name and phone number.

When my dad told me, I did then remember a neighbour (who happened to be a police woman) taking me to the park and asking me questions, but I can't remember what.

Wonder if its the same person going a bit dotty and posting it a few times wink or if its some kind of nationwide thing that happens

FreudianSlipper Tue 17-May-11 20:31:55

yes that my beloved little bunny snowdrop was killed by a fox and he did not did himself out of the garden and run off sad

this secret was hidden from me for over 20 years. i was talking about my friend getting a bunny and my mum said how upsetting it was finding snowdrops tail in the garden, then realised what she said tried to back track

i never realised that my nan was an alcoholic. i thought it was normal for people to drink sherry on sunday morning and didn't think it strange her offering it to whoever came round (adults not children). also thought her going to bed for a few days was because she had migraines sad she was so anti drink as i got older and now i understand why

Milngavie Tue 17-May-11 20:46:54

My Mum told me when I was pg with ds1 (and she was tring to persuade me to terminate) that she'd had an abortion when my brother was 3. She never told anyone.

I have suspicions that Mum had an affair with her friends husband. I can remember being in a house with them which was a good drive from where we lived for at least one night and being told not to mention it to his (and Mums friends' DSs).

I'd never been there before and never went again.

Pedallleur Tue 17-May-11 21:44:45

After my mothers funeral I was going thro' her paperwork and found her marriage certificate that said she had been married previously (annulled) and my sister who was about 8 years older than me (she died aged 18) was my half-sister who was a mistake and my mother married the father which of course didn't last. Have never found any trace of my sister, no paperwork -birth/death certificate so she may have been registered under the original surname. I asked my mothers sister about this and it turned out she had been sexually abused by this guy and threatened so she had never told mum who might have blamed herself. My other and I got on v.well and I feel sad that she could not have mentioned it (altho' it was nothing to with me).

That is me imum. Wasn't aware that I could only post something once.

I think iMum is just curious as to why you posted it 3 different times under different names, and with slightly different details

weird story though
my friend discovered that someone rang up her mum while friend was away at universiyt and told her mum she was pregnant. She wasn't and they have no idea who it was.
Someone out there likes to get their kicks from worrying parents hmm

(someone other than the government I mean)

MeRightYouWrongMeBigYouSmall Tue 17-May-11 22:12:22

I've recently found out:

- I have two older brothers, my dad was married before he met my mum and had two sons, the mother tried to have him killed (apparently) shock
- my mum and dad met, she became pregnant within 3 months, dad went to prison for 2 years.

gremlindolphin Tue 17-May-11 22:41:45

That my dad went to prison for 3 months for trying to sell something that wasn't his! Only my mum, her sister and my Grandpa knew!

Gobsmacked, can't believe he was so stupid and also can't believe that someone as lovely as my Dad was sent to jail. I can't imagine that he had a very nice time in there.

Fascinating thread! I was compelled to read all the way through hence my late coming post - some of the posts are very sad sad

My family were very secretive and I have only come across stuff since I became custodian of the biscuit tin full of birth, marriage and death certificates after my grans death

My grandmother was 5 months pg with my mother when she got married in 1948 - I have the wedding pictures and the only person smiling is my lovely grandad, the rest of the family all look like they have trodden in shite grin

Getting all the certificates spurred me on to building a family tree and discovered that my not talked about great great grandfather was the hangman at the city jail .... apparently it was a well paid job but he never mentioned it to his wife, he 'just went out to work'

My great grandmother on my fathers side had 3 kids by 3 different fathers, the last of which was an irish bloke who ship hopped for a living and would disappear periodically - the last ship he hopped on was the SS Ceramic ...big mistake cos it was torpedoed and sank in 1942

pippop1 Wed 18-May-11 00:29:56

My Mum and Dad told me that they were walking arm in arm when they slipped on a banana skin, but sometimes it was an orange skin and my Dad had lots of injuries and my Mum had to have her jaw wired together. I was three and remember the jaw bit and that my grandma came to look after us for ages.

It turned out that they'd had a bad car accident and didn't want me to worry about going in a car. They told me when I was 18 after I passed my driving test.

MrsTwinks Wed 18-May-11 17:09:23

my mum is the queen of too much info, and when her and my dad split they both told me WAY too much.. some of her "gems" include..

my mum stole/trade my dad from her sister. mum says she was "given" him they all have different versions thou, kinda funny. Oh and I am the product of too many drugs and too much drink and withdrawl failure (part of mums dont trust men speach)

The reason I dont remember my mum until I was about 7 was she refused to accept she had PND and never accepted treatment and has never bonded with me. If I wasnt in school I used to get taken out for they day so she could "rest". Didnt figure this out until the doctor let it slip when I was a depressed/suicidal teen who thought my mother hated me and wished Id never been born (this was after the dont trust men talk). I dont remember any of it and it wasnt until I was a teenager and she still couldnt bond. Makes me feel better that if I ever suffer as mum did my kids wont remember.

actually theres alot of mad incidents I was on the fringe of that I only found the truth of later.... surfice to say my folks are the kind of people your parents warned you about lol. I have a good memory so i remember fragments of alot of it.

the one WTF moment a few years back (apart from the random wifeswap/ "party" stories) was that my great aunt was married before and has never slept with her husband. Her first husband left her and was a bigamist so she get an anullment but her catholic guilt means she wont sleep with her current husband because his prior marriage wasnt anulled. thats a headshaker!!

Grabaspoon Wed 18-May-11 17:39:34

Aaah Pip Pop

magicstar1 Wed 18-May-11 18:16:11

My mother told me a couple of years ago that she and my dad are first cousins, and that they had to get special permission to get married, and I've not to tell anyone else.
I've known since I was a small child, my nan (dad's mother) always talked about her sister (my other nan) who had died when I was young.
They're still freaked out in case I tell anyone....even my husband!

Tortu Wed 18-May-11 19:46:24

Oooo, quite a tenuous link here- hope I'm forgiven! My great-uncle started going senile a few years ago and, whilst there were generally no problems, every so often he would say something about somewhere he'd never been, or mention people he'd never known. Finally, one afternoon, he mentioned that time he'd been sent to Burma during the war. My aunt turned round and smiled, saying, 'you didn't go to Burma in the war dad'.
To which my GU replied to her in what appeared to be a fluent foreign (possibly Burmese) language.
Either he was having a great old laugh at our expense, or he was a spy.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 19-May-11 11:45:17

My mother recently let slip that the reason we moved abroad for 3 years was because my dad was caught drink driving and lost his licence. Back then (the 80s) things like that didn't follow you overseas, so he just applied for an assignment in Europe from his company.

I had no idea until this year (I'm 32) that the reason I'd been to schools in 3 different countries and was fluent in 3 different languages before the age of 10 was simply because my father was an alcoholic hmm

A couple of years ago I found out that my gps eloped to Gretna Green when young, as his parents refused to allow him to marry my gm.

My gf's parents were very well off, but my gm came from a mining family, she was one of 21 children and she was sent off into service when she was ten.

My gf was cut off by his family and thrown out of his job - he ended up being a train driver to support them; they rented a room in a house which they shared with their 6 children!

bubaluchy Thu 19-May-11 19:30:20

I found out that my little sister and I lived with our grand parents as babies because of my mothers post natal depression and schizophrenia, I am 26 and am training to be a Steiner teacher and can't beleive they had never told me, my granny mentioned it flippantly over a nice cuppa the other day- so english.

whatsallthehullaballoo Thu 19-May-11 20:17:46

My mum told me her half sister had given her baby away to her landlord and landlady (infertile) in lieu of rent. This was about 60 years ago.

My Grandmother had 11 children, 3 of whom died in infancy of pneumonia.

I remembered a massive fight with my mum and dad once in the bathroom...turns out he was addicted to painkillers and my mum and a neighbour were trying to get the pills from him to flush them down the toilet.

QueenLaQueefer Thu 19-May-11 22:08:28

I found out a few weeks ago that my dad sold most of his family's land to set up a trust fund for my sister & me after my parents split up, but my mum spent it!

I don't know how to broach it with her. sad

whogivesaduck1 Mon 17-Sep-12 09:00:44

what an intresting read! there are so many family secrets, i could be here all day with ours!

shuffleballchange Mon 17-Sep-12 11:39:14

ShowOfHands, that is so sad, I know it was different then but my god, how could she have done that?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 17-Sep-12 11:47:30

This is a fascinating thread. In a way, I find it reassuring that so many families are as screwed up / uptight / fallible as mine. Makes me feel normal, and comforted.

Here a few of mine:

- That I have an aunt and cousins I have never met, because the rest of the family ostracised them because they didn't like her husband, who she ran away with. Found this out when I was around 8 or 10.

- That my Mom spent an undisclosed amount of time in a psychiatric hospital when I was around 3 or 4 years old, most likely after my middle sibling had died. I was given to the neighbours, while my eldest sibling stayed home with my father. Found this out from my eldest sibling only a couple years ago. It explains a lot about my Mom's relationship to me.

ElsieMc Mon 17-Sep-12 11:50:06

My parents were my adopted parents and older when they adopted me. My dad died years ago but my mum died at christmas, having suffered from dementia for many years. I found out from my cousin that none of my dad's sisters could stand my mum and that they felt she would never be good enough for my dad. The one sister still alive refused to attend her funeral. She had never done anything to any of them, but they just decided she was not good enough and that was that until she died aged 90.

I can't believe I never noticed as a child, but looking back she would refuse to visit my grandmother when we all went to visit. Strangely, my aunts were all good to me, bought me gifts and made allowances for me. I can't believe how naive I was and how I was sheltered from this, but shows how sad and futile this behaviour is.

HairyToothbrush Mon 17-Sep-12 12:04:14

When I was 1 my mum left my dad, married Someone else, left him a month later and got back with my dad! My mum and dad are still together now but I only found out a few years ago when I found her divorce papers.

Lueji Mon 17-Sep-12 12:07:34

My mum told me recently that her and the dad of my best friend in the first two years of primary school, had been a sort of an item before she met my dad. shock
Only, my grandmother basically stopped them getting together (because he was a "shoe maker" - he went on to own a successful shoe shop).

Not a big issue, obviously, particularly now (over 40 years later).

But, in a way I'm glad we moved town and we lost contact. I can imagine how awkward it might have become.

Lueji Mon 17-Sep-12 12:12:46


Being first cousins is not that big a deal.
I know at least two couples who are.

And how do you hide something like that?
But if the marriage was allowed, then it's not a problem.
Permits are to avoid the marriage of first cousins that are genetically too similar (say offspring of identical twins, and so effectively like half siblings, or when the parents were themselves first cousins, for example).

Integer Mon 17-Sep-12 12:32:56

At 17, I found out that an aunt had found the local vicar, who had killed himself, about 20 years ago. Everyone thought it was very sad.

Last year, a (grown up) cousin admitted that he had been abused by this vicar as a boy sad

hedgehogpatronus Mon 17-Sep-12 12:39:18

My mother let on a few years ago that her father wasn't her biological dad, the Hungarian circus strongman living across the street was. Makes sense as my mother (and my sister and I) was tall, broad and quite dark while her brother and sisters are all petite and blonde.

villagelife92 Mon 17-Sep-12 13:06:33

Not me but a friend found out aged 12 that her mum was actually her dads wife as her mother had killed herself when she was 1. Everybody thought she knew, she was really upset as you can imagine when her grandmother casually said it was a shame her daughter died so Friend never got a chance to know her mum.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Mon 17-Sep-12 13:27:36

My uncle swears that my dad fathered a child when he was around 15/16 years old. It was quite the scandal of the village. Apparently dad had to be moved from the school he was attending because this girls relatives all went there and wanted to kill him.

I could have a half-brother or sister who is around 25 years older than me.

mummytime Mon 17-Sep-12 17:57:52

Okay mine: my Uncle was arrested for cottaging in the 50/60s. He went on to marry and have 3 kids, but I do wonder if the reason his marriage failed was because he was gay. It's hard to ask cousins you only know a bit if their late father was gay. I also have suspicions as to his other activities which may have been dubious.
I think a cousin is gay, but again it is something hard to ask bluntly, unless they introduce you to a partner (and we have a friend I would swear is gay, except we know her male partner of the last 25+ years).
At least one of my great grandparents was Jewish, but this was a big secret even though some of their children kept their heritage. My Mums cousins married men with nice Jewish careers (fur trader or jeweller) and lived in very Jewish areas. My Mum even looked Jewish enough to be specially looked after by her Jewish landladies when she first left home.
One of my great grandmothers used different first names for the father on the birth certificates of her sons. I mean to find out more about this one day.

medievaljacqui Mon 17-Sep-12 20:25:00

Another one whose Grandma 'had' to get married. My Mum knew as my GM had told her when drunk but her older brother only found out after GM and GD had died and he found their wedding cert. They had told him a different wedding date all his life.

The same GM also told my Mum that my GD had been married before her and was a widower with children. Apparently the children had been taken in by other, female, relatives as it wasn't seen as the 'done thing' to allow a man to raise his children by himself (late 1930s). Mum has no idea how many half siblings she has or where they are as GM didn't know any more about them. GD was 11 years her senior and had already died at this point.

GM's DF was informally adopted by the landlord and landlady of the local pub. His parents had 12/13 children, when they moved back to Ireland they left their youngest with the couple as they were unable to have children themselves.

fuckwittery Mon 17-Sep-12 20:36:40

My mum was adopted as a child, she traced her birth mum when she was 18, but she wouldn't meet her sad. I would like to trace her birth family now and see if she has any half brothers or sisters before its too late.

ErrorError Mon 17-Sep-12 20:44:35

I was well into my teens when I found out that my Uncle (Mum's brother) had been homeless. He was a trainee doctor and one day just went missing out of the blue. My grandparents eventually tracked him down & brought him home but then he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. My Mum had always bought The Big Issue and I didn't think too deeply about it until that revelation.

I was also an adult when I found out my grandparents met at a ball and were married 12 days later and moved to the Far East, and that my very English Mum was actually born in Malaysia!

blueshoes Mon 17-Sep-12 20:46:57

My brother (youngest child and only son) was an accident. I always thought they kept trying until they got a son.

KitCat26 Mon 17-Sep-12 21:12:04

My mum and dad had a rough patch when I was about 5/6. Dad went to canada for 3 weeks, but all I remember is him coming back with a My Little Pony for me. They sorted it as they are still together.

My great uncle (who I never met thankfully) tried to rape his youngest sister. He also killed a man whilst drink driving. He 'lost' his own father's Will, which lead twenty years of unsucessful legal action from my grandpa. He made my grandpa and his nephews and neices homeless. He was generally a very nasty piece of work.

Grandpa opened the champagne and was delighted when his younger brother died. I was shocked at the time, but only found out the worst details after I was about 20.

One great grandma was knocked up when she got married at 17. Another was illegitimate. My grandma has a secret half brother. My other grandparents were cousins.

Empusa Mon 17-Sep-12 21:30:21

After my mum died I helped my dad sort out her clothes, at which point I found out she owned crotchless knickers shock Worst thing I probably wouldn't of noticed if dad hadn't said, "oh look, crotchless knickers"

Proudnscary Mon 17-Sep-12 21:44:21

Was there anything I was oblivious to as a child?

Nope, I was pretty much up to speed with all the affairs and mental health issues and rows and unhappiness from the age of about eight.

wink sad angry

CuriosityCola Mon 17-Sep-12 22:01:18

I never knew until I was an adult that my grandparents had spent twenty odd years separated and were only actually 'together' out of some strange convenience (haven't quite worked this part out). It only came out when my dad was mentioning decorating their bedrooms.

This one was mortifying and I never needed to know! Was helping my grandma sort out my Granadad's belongings when he passed away. Found his army medical papers. He had been treated for an sti blush My grandma was completely non-plussed and just muttered something about hussies abroad grin

NiniLegsInTheAir Mon 17-Sep-12 22:15:03

Until my parents got married when i was a toddler, my dad's family had no idea i existed. They found out at the wedding itself when i arrived. Apparently my nan cried her eyes out.

ErrorError Mon 17-Sep-12 22:48:50

I remembered something else. A few years ago my Mum told me she'd been called into the Headteacher's office when I was at Primary school, to discuss my 'attitude problem'. Apparently, there was an optional extra test that a few kids were selected to take, (doing so would secure more funding for school computers.) I was one of those kids, and I remember being asked by the Head "Do you want to sit this test, Error?" I replied, "No thanks, not really."

My Mum was fuming with the Head. She told the him not to ask such an obvious question if he didn't want an honest answer from me, and huffed out!

I was really proud of my Mum for that, as growing up I always had the impression she was a bit of a mousey character. I knew she stuck up for me because she's my Mum, but when she told me this story I truly began to realise she always had my back. She said she didn't want me to feel like I could never question authority.

Just thought I'd add that little triumphant story to balance out a lot of the desperately sad ones on this thread. All completely fascinating but such a shame for the posters that your families had to go through traumatic times. I'm especially sad about the ones where young women were forced into abortions or had to give up their babies because of the shame.

crisisofidentity Mon 17-Sep-12 22:53:01

Mums mum had 3 children by different men in the 1930's. Th eldest was brought up as grandma's brother by my GGM.
Found out my eldest brother was not my dad's by overhearing my DF refer to 'x's father'. I was about 11.
My DF had fathered a child with a married woman before marrying my mum, but the woman's husband made them move away to Australia. Dad revealed this in his last days.

LadyofWinterfell Mon 17-Sep-12 23:59:13

My nan told me a few years ago that she was never really in love with my Grandad. She claims he used to follow her around and sit on the wall outside her house, and she only said 'yes' to him because she was sick of him asking.

She regrets doing it because he wouldn't let them have any more DC after their PFB, My DF, was born Deaf. sad (probably through Rubella, and she won't accept that it can still happen now.)

ScorpionQueen Tue 18-Sep-12 00:36:41

I have just spent ages reading this thread, which has been going years. Some really sad stories and some really amazing ones too. Families are so complicated, aren't they? Even the ones that look so normal from the outside.

I found out a year ago that my Nanas birthday wasnt Christmas Day as we all including her believed - it was Christmas Eve.

Also found out then that she had brothers and sisters and what her parents were called, and that she doesnt know who my dads dad is but suspects it was a chauffer (not of hers though), and that my ddad was in care for a bit in his youth.

ErrorError Tue 18-Sep-12 01:12:05

Apologies for thread hogging but I thought this was interesting. When my Mum was a teenager she found out she had a baby brother who died a few days after being born. He was the 4th DC. Another relative told Mum that my Nan contracted German Measles when pregnant, and had the baby survived, he would have been severely disabled. Mum was very young when this happened and says all she remembers is being told about a new baby, and her Mum returning with no baby. When my grandparents died, we looked for the birth and death certificates in their house but they weren't there, and apparently the baby was never mentioned afterwards, so all knowledge is based on vague memories and speculation. Very sad. sad

TwistyBraStrap Tue 18-Sep-12 01:21:28

My mum didn't hold me for the first 6 months of my life. It was only the intervention of my dad, and GPs on both sides that stopped my mum being hospitalised with PND.

She had an abortion after I was born, because she couldn't cope with the idea of having another baby.

She had a miscarriage before she had my sister, and miscarried again before she married my stepdad. I never knew until recently.

I always thought I was an accident, my mum often mentions what she "could have done if she hadn't had me" - apparently I was planned and wanted, and my dad got chucked out of the navy, he didn't quit because I was born!

needsomeperspective Tue 18-Sep-12 07:56:06

My parents got married when my mum was 19 and my dad 21.

Mum told me when I was a teenager he had had to have a backstreet abortion at 16. She told me this after I got pregnant at 17 and had a miscarriage. Might have been more useful as a cautionary tale if she had told me earlier! Especially as I always was under the impression she was a virgin until she married my dad and they had a perfect, conventional marriage all her life and so I never felt I could discuss sex or relationships with her at all as she "would never get it".

When I was in my 20s I found out from my godmother that my dad had loads of affairs and he once had a fling with a married woman whose husband nearly punched his lights out. Found out from my uncle that my parents had actually got divorced (i assume due to all my fathers affairs and apparenty their "complicated" sex life hmm ) and then remarried on the same date as their original wedding day. I thought it was all very Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton.

Took me a little longer to realize that my mum must have been pregnant with me at the time as their anniversary is April and I was born 2 weeks overdue in the following January! Always wondered if she only remarried him because of me. They have never been very happy together in my recollection as she never forgave the infidelities (HATES cheaters and cheating with a passion). But have remained married all in for approaching 50 years.

needsomeperspective Tue 18-Sep-12 07:59:39

Actually working back the dates I could have been a second honeymoon baby! That sounds more romantic.

Lueji Tue 18-Sep-12 08:07:08

Also, my little brother was an accident, but I have never told him and I don't know if my siblings know.

More recently, that my mother was emotionally but also physically abused by my grandmother and still is emotionally dependent on her. sad

And my dad's first sister died in childhood, and te sister born after her was given the same name. Creepy!
This is not really a secret but it's interesting.

Willowme Fri 21-Sep-12 14:58:53

My cousin at 38 recently found out she had a full brother in England, we live in Ireland. Turned out her DM and DF went to England for a while before she was born and before they were married, her DM had a baby boy and had him adopted such was the shame of being pregnant out of wedlock, and my gran would have hit the roof.

They subsequently came home got married and had her very shortly after. There is less than 2 years between them, they look like twins, their kids are very alike and he also looks like my brother.

Her DM died when she was two and her father left my DM to bring her up so the truth never came out.

Mama1980 Fri 21-Sep-12 15:08:22

I asked at 20 why my great aunt wasn't in my nan s wedding photos as they are the best of friends. Cue embarrassed looks as nan explained my great aunt had been engaged to my grandad, my nan had got pregnant by and then ran off with her sisters fiancé. blush even my mum didn't know. 50 years later it's all forgotten now.

mummybare Fri 21-Sep-12 15:14:28

Before she had me, my mum had an abortion and a nose job (not at the same time).

SoggySummer Fri 01-Feb-13 13:20:23

Wow some amazing stories on here. I know its an old thread but a very interesting read.

I think mist if not all families have skeletons in the cupboard. Some of these stories are quite sad and some horrific. Thank God times have changed a not so many women feel forced into giving their babies away.

Frizzbonce Fri 01-Feb-13 14:48:15

My auntie (dad's sister) came to stay when I was about ten and I remember her crying a lot and mum and dad going 'shhhh' when I entered the room. Of course I knew something was up but Auntie would paste on a smile and assure me she was 'fine'. But I'd been brought up in a family where emotions were trivialised or denied, ('You're not depressed - you're just sulking!') so it wasn't anything odd. Then two of our local Catholic parish priests visited over a period of a week and kept asking Auntie questions.

When I was a teenager I asked mum if my Auntie was divorced but she always changed the subject. Eventually I lost interest. Then I found out from my cousins - her three children that my Auntie had been trying to get an annulment.

'But an annulment is a total denial of the marriage isn't it?' I said. 'I mean it denies you - all three of you.' My cousin looked uncomfortable.

'Yes and we all hated it. But our dad was sexually abusing L* and she went to mum and mum's reaction was to try and annul the marriage.'

I don't know the full story but Auntie didn't go to the police. Instead she tried (and failed) to annul her marriage. And yet when one of her daughters accidentally got pregnant age 17, the poor girl was Persona Non Gratis for a few years and any mention of her name met with a glare.

This nasty event is one of the reasons I am no longer Catholic.

CatDilemma Fri 01-Feb-13 19:56:22

My great auntie gave away two children. I think their dad was abusive and I know her mum was not very nice. They weren't babies though I think they were 3 and 4. No one will tell me anything about it though. Can't get my head around willingly giving up children that age. She went on to have another child that she kept and is in contact with one of her adopted sons but the other doesn't want to know.
I'll change the exact dates on this but my mum's mum and dad met in January, married in the March and my mum was born in the April. My nan however maintains that he is her real dad.

elfycat Fri 01-Feb-13 21:07:17

This is an old one now, but when I was about 14, off sick from school and watching TV there was a program about people with learning disabilities. My mother came to sit next to me and asked how I would feel about having a relative with a similar issue.

I replied (pragmatically) that if you do then you do and there's no point worrying about it. Turns out my father had an older sister who was put into an institution when she was 15 and he was 12. My father hadn't seen her again and it was never talked about. When Dad told Mum about his sister he expected her to dump him over it.

It made sense as we lived in the same house that my father grew up in and he had the smallest bedroom. Obviously my aunt had the bigger room.

After my grandmother died my grandfather reintroduced my father to his sister and eventually we all met her. She didn't really understand the family relationship between us but she grew to be very fond of my parents who visited very regularly.

Aunt Mary died last year and she had 20 years of getting to know her brother again.

LemonBreeland Fri 01-Feb-13 22:04:47

I remember reading this thread when it first started and being shocked that so many people had siblings they didn't know about. Then I found out that I also have a half sibling about a year ago.

My Mum accidentally let it slip thinking that I already knew. She half apologised afterwards, but I don't think she got that it was a huge thing for me.

I still haven't really dealt with it as I have been rebuilding a relationship with my Dad so didn't want to bring up my sister who is out there somewhere yet.

Lavenderhoney Sat 02-Feb-13 10:51:50

I found out I have a uncles, aunts and cousins quite recently. My dm was adopted and her records were lost during the war so she has no idea who her df is. Her dm gave her away then gave away another ds 2 years later. She married at least twice, once a few months after giving away my dm and again a year or so after giving away her ds. There may be more children.

Her adopted family put her and her brother into a children's home when they were teenagers as the adopters died in a car crash and the rest of the family refused to take on the two teenagers as they weren't 'real' family. They were split up and put in homes at 14 years. This was in the early 50's.

Lueji Sat 02-Feb-13 11:53:14

It turned out that DB was not a birthday present for me (albeit born 6 months later), after all, but an accident. He's 6.5 years younger. grin
I wasn't told, but read it.

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