These 19 People Learned Deep Dark Secrets About Seemingly Perfect Families

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There’s no such thing as a perfect family. As much as your neighbors from across the street may seem like they have it all together — there are always cracks and deceptions and deep, dark secrets that dwell below the surface of shiny cars, happy smiles, and over-achieving PTA moms.

Maybe it wasn’t until you were a fully grown adult that you found out about the sex trafficking brothel the family down the street was running the entire time you lived next to them. You always had a strange inkling that something was off, but you just chalked it up to your middle school naivety.

Or maybe you went to high school with the most popular sisters from the most popular family in town. They were positive, charming, and always brought the best snacks to block parties. Turns out — they were also crazy people who belonged to a masochistic sex cult who abused their children. And to think, you had been eating their chips and guac this whole time.

These 19 families were harboring some of the most terrible, devastating, and disgusting secrets:


I grew up with a girl down the street who lived with her mom and stepdad. Stepdad was pretty cool, according to 7 year old me. Nice guy. Come to find out, he’d been raping my friend for years. It had been going on so long, had been so normalized to her, that she thought I was doing that with my dad, and our other friend was doing it with her dad. To her, your father (figure) having sex with you was just something you did. I was too young to know what happened at the time it was discovered, but I do remember my mom asking me if he had ever “touched me” and her being very concerned he might have hurt me. Was years before I found out what actually happened.


When I was a kid I knew a set of twins who were friends with my older sister. The twins (both female), were straight A students and always dressed modestly. Neither girl was allowed to date and their parents owned a huge house with multiple cars and the girls never seemed to want for anything. Anyway, a few years later the parents were busted because apparently they owned another house a few streets away, (Less lavish) and they were running a brothel out of it with girls the same age as their daughters. (Who were around 18 at this time and both in university).


My grandpa knew and grew up with Josef Mengele. My grandma still denies the experiments that happened in Auschwitz (not the killing, but rather Mengele’s role in Auschwitz). Just to note, my grandpa said that he didn’t like Mengele, even as kids. He was self centered and ruthless.


Know a brother and sister, live together in a huge mansion and both own amazing beautiful cars, clearly very affluent. One of them began dating a family friend who wasn’t so well-off. Turns out the reason they’re so rich is because their parents were associated with some Italian mafia, and were brutally murdered and raped in front of them when they were children. They were given a huge inheritance after this event. You would never guess, they look like they’ve had the easiest life.


The mom remarried when her kids were quite young to a new “perfect stepdad.” Roll on ten years and the 15 year old daughter notices something in the bathroom while she’s showering. Webcam, via the stepdad. That’s not the darkest part though. The darkest part is that her mom forgave him for filming her 15 year old daughter in the bath and on the toilet, told the daughter she would always put her husband first and arranged for her daughter to go and live with her nan.


My grandpa on my mom’s side had another family on the side. When he died my grandmother’s name was put on his gravestone. The other family chiseled it out.


They kept their handicapped son locked up. Most people didnt even know he existed. They made his room like a padded cell and just left him in bed all the time with a nurse coming to bathe, feed and rotate him. His parents didn’t even talk to him or look at him often.


I met my friend’s grandparents and they are your typical kind white doily-toting american grandparents. They literally have the cutest old-people house in the world and they’re extremely friendly. Turns out for a time in the 60’s or 70’s they were in a sex cult. It’s an open secret that my friend’s uncle is actually the child of the grandmother and the cult leader.


As a kid I hung out with a dude who was part of a perfect family it seemed. His mom was an olympic rower and his dad was some super cool business exec. We were good friends from like 12-14 or so, then different school. I found out his mom died of cancer like the year later, was very sad. Then the next year, it came to light the dad was sexually abusing him and his two little sisters, and had been maybe forever. He went to jail for that. It was one of those floor falling out of the world things. Poor guy.


My grandfather lives in Tennessee by himself kind of out in the mountains. Well there is a family cemetery in his back yard up this 50 yard long hill that’s covered in thick trees. There’s a dude in our family buried up there along with his 9 dead children and 4 dead wives who all died at pretty young ages. All of the women he married died around 3-5 years after they got married. This was back in the mid to late 1800’s and I guess the guy was known to be real shady. Still unknown if he played a part in all the deaths or if he is just a super unlucky man.


My family seemed pretty perfect until my folks got divorced when I was thirteen. They both assured me that it wasn’t anyone’s fault. As it turns out, while I wasn’t the reason, I was the catalyst. My Dad started to notice that, as I aged, I shared no physical features with him. He confronted my Mom about it and she revealed the truth; I was the product of a drunken one night stand. My Mom and Dad had dated briefly and then broke up. Shortly after the break-up, Mom went to a party and hooked up with some guy. When she discovered that she was pregnant, she contacted my Dad and told him that I was his son. They got married shortly after I was born. Dad agreed that no one else needed to be told, but the fact that the whole marriage had been built on a lie brought a lot of bad shit to the surface and they decided to call it quits.


I have a very small family of about 7 people. Growing up everyone would get together for events and everything seemed pretty normal and everyone seemed to get along. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I noticed that everyone in my family actually hates the shit out of each other and it was just some huge contest to see who had become the better person over the years. My mother and my grandmother are the only ones who talk to each other, and it’s probably only because they live together. My grandmother and grandfather are separated, and my grandmother only calls him every few months to see if he’s dead or not.


Given that I was pretty young at the time, I probably missed some warning signs. A good friend of mine was being pretty seriously abused by his mother and I had no idea. He was the class clown and always seemed happy. We would hang out at each others houses after school and play on the weekends. I never had a weird experience with his mother. Years later, he stabbed his mother to death in her sleep.


There was a family whose parents were popular and well liked. Their daughters were all popular and well liked as well. They were all the type of people that had no strong opinions and did not care to argue, just kinda positive people. They have some ownership in a local dealership too and their girls are on a lot of the commercials. One day, one of their daughters let it slip to me that she found a hidden camera in the pool changing room at their pool house, she said it in kind of a “oh ya, haha shrug found a camera, my dad is sooo silly.” It kind of seems like she was assuming he put it there to catch them drinking, but she realizes that it was probably more than that but she just figures “boys will be boys” type thing. The dad looks like the creepiest mother fucker ever and he has been likely video taping, not only his daughters, but all of their female friends which is like nearly all of the popular high school women in my town.


On my mother’s side I have an aunt who decided to steal money from a charity to rebuild a guy’s house that recently burned down. It was a small town so all they had was a bin for dollar bills at the local bar, she took all of it and the next day had some expensive new shoes.


A friend of the family is constantly going on vacations. Their kids have the nicest things. Their house is just ridiculous. Their cars are always brand new or less than 2 years old before they’re traded in. They live what seems to be the perfect life. But I could never figure out how they afford it. Fuck, the vacations alone make up at least what the wife’s salary is. The husband has a good job, but not that great. They probably make around as much as I do. Credit cards. They have 8 credit cards between the two of them and keep them almost maxed out all the time.


My father was a pastor who cheated on his wife (my mother) while she was undergoing chemotherapy.


Perfect kids, perfect husband and wife. Respected members of the community as the Dad was a doctor. Partnered with another similarly respected doctor in the town. A few years later a polite notice appeared in the newspaper that they were ending their partnership, nobody batted an eyelid. Things continued as normal. Fast forward about 20 years later, and I find one of the daughters on Facebook. We went to school together and I happened to be a patient of the Dad so I asked how he was doing. Dad is estranged from the family. That practice they partnered with? He was having an affair with the wife and they ran off. That’s why they ended it, but to save face they just made it seem like a professional split and he retired. Very few people know the true story.


My fucking brother is a pedophile and only the people fron my immediate family know about what he did so he always gets invited to family reunions by aunts and cousins because they dont know what he did. I’m pressured to keep my mouth shut about it and not cause problems but it seriously scares me thinking about him being around all my little siblings and little cousins. Hate that asshole.

Written by Laura McNairy

Laura is a freelance writer for TFLN. She likes to write about what she knows best — dating, sex, and being awkward, but usually in the opposite order. She is the Assistant Editor and videographer for Peach Fuzz, a sex-positive nudie magazine in ATX.