"My sister died three years ago this October. I handled the entire affair. To preserve her appearance and memory, I told my entire family she died because she drowned in the bathtub from passing out, possibly due to health issues. In reality, she slumped forward and drowned because she passed out from shooting up some heavy stuff."
"When I was 6, my sister was 16 and pregnant with twins. Our mother found out and beat her till she had a miscarriage. I think I saw it happen, I only remember flashes. My therapist says I will remember these sorts of things when I'm ready...I don't ever want to remember them."
"When I was 5, my mom decided that she didn't want to be with my dad anymore. My dad has anger issues, so naturally, they had a huge fight. Since I was young, I don't remember exactly what happened, but I remember my dad grabbing my mom to hit her and my 7-year-old sister jumped in to pull my dad off of my mom. It must've been perfect timing because as soon as my sister got close, my dad swung the TV remote and hit my sister straight in the eye. She was completely blinded in that eye because of it. My parents told everyone she fell and she doesn't remember much of it because it was so traumatic. But I remember. My sister was bullied mercilessly about her eye in school and dropped out in the 10th grade. She's had a rough life, with addiction and other issues. She's very close to my dad and I don't think I will ever tell her what really happened...but I do kinda resent my dad for it."
"As a child, my mother was abused by her uncle for an unknown period of time. It was the early '60s and things were different back then, and although the family was aware of it and prevented it when they could, everyone was concerned that any kind of official action would damage their political and corporate reputation. Her father (my grandfather) had taken action against her uncle several times prior to this, that she's aware of. They went out for 'a walk on the estate' and uncle would come back with broken ribs and a badly messed up face.
One night, my uncle got wasted and went to my mother's room, and when he'd stumbled out again, she followed him and very calmly pushed him down a long flight of stairs. The whole house heard it happen, and listened to him screaming for help where he'd fallen.
Then they all went back to sleep.
After he'd gotten up, bathed, dressed, had his coffee, and taken the time to read the entire newspaper, my grandfather finally called an ambulance to get his brother-in-law some help. By the time he received medical attention, my great uncle was permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
No one speaks of it. The only reason I even know is that my grandmother had too much to drink one night and described walking around his broken body when she got up to make breakfast. She smiled when she told me."
"I grew up with a single mom in an upper middle class neighborhood. She did her best to make ends meet, and probably no one realized we were broke because we lived in a nice house. However, she had no job. I don't know the details because I was pretty young.
At some point, she started having 'visitors' in the afternoon. Usually, the visitors would come and leave before I got home from school, but there were times when they were still there. I never saw any cash transactions, but once she started having 'visitors,' the financial worries lessened. We could afford things then. She would never talk about it and eventually the situation changed and visitors stopped coming."
"My great-great aunt (my great-grandmother's sister) had a son out of wedlock with a guy who was married. A couple years later, when she got married herself, the new husband told her he didn't want the other man's child and wouldn't let the son live in the house. They abandoned the kid on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. No one ever heard from him again. He was only round 3 or 4 years old. Apparently, she was really tortured by it later (as she should have been), but it wasn't like she could change her mind. The family had always thought it was such a shameful thing that she'd had a baby that way, so they'd always kept his existence on the down low anyway. So when he went missing, they just didn't say anything. Plus, they lived in a pretty poor area, so nobody gave a crap anyway. My great-grandmother was young when it all happened, so she didn't know about it until much later."
"My grandfather grew up insanely poor in Colombia with 17 siblings and a single mother. He only got up to a 4th-grade education before his mom couldn't afford to send him to school anymore. When he was in his teens/twenties, he only took on low-paying jobs, because everything that paid well either required higher education or membership in a cartel.
In his twenties, he ended up befriending a university economics professor who let him sit outside his classroom window and listen in on lessons. He felt confident enough after that to open up his own restaurant and he was successful enough to open up a second.
For a good 30 years after that, it was smooth sailing. He met my grandmother, they settled down in Colombia and had my dad and my aunt. My grandparents moved up to Miami with my aunt after my dad joined the US Air Force.
My aunt met a guy when she was 17 and he was 25. Guy was into some hard stuff and had some buddies in Colombian cartels, one of whom had a cousin who was employed as a restaurant manager under my grandfather. My grandparents, especially my grandfather, didn't like him one bit and told my aunt very seriously to stop seeing the guy.
Well, one night, my aunt was supposed to come home after work, but she never showed up. My grandparents had no way to contact her and were driving all over the city, asking her friends if they knew where she was. They finally got a call from her the next morning, from New York. She'd arranged for her new boyfriend to pick her up from her work the night before, and he drove her up to New York overnight for a 'vacation.'
My grandfather was furious and told the guy off over the phone. The guy went to his cartel friends and they arranged a way to get back at my grandfather.
Now, while they were up in Florida, my grandparents were mostly living off revenue from their restaurants in Colombia. My grandfather would have regular phone conversations with one of his restaurant managers, talking about mortgage, business strategies, etc.
One of the guy's aforementioned cartel friends convinced his cousin, the restaurant manager, to record a few phone convos with my grandfather, then to send the recordings to the guy my aunt was with.
After that, the guy gave the recordings to the FBI and they ended up arresting my grandfather because they thought the conversations were code messages about illegal substances and their transportation.
My grandfather got 20 years. He lost his restaurants, as well as a huge ranch he had planned to pass on to my dad and my aunt after he died.
My aunt couldn't give less of a crap. She went and married her guy. She visited my grandfather in prison for the first and only time and literally told him that she 'forgives him' for disapproving of her relationship. Then she had the guts to ask if he wanted the forgiveness of her new husband. My grandfather told her that if he ever saw the guy again, he would kill him. He just left my aunt alone and walked back to his cell.
The only times I've ever met my grandfather were when I was 4, and then again when I was 5. I sort of remember my second visit, but I couldn't talk to him because of the language gap. My dad never taught me Spanish.
My grandmother stayed in Florida, and she'd make the 3-hour round-trip drive to see him every single week. But, about 12 years ago, 13 years into his sentence, my grandfather developed prostate issues and was literally urinating blood. The prison officials refused him medical care. My dad filed a report about it with the FBI and they forced the Florida prison officials to get him treatment. The Florida prison didn't like that, so they moved him up to North Carolina so my grandmother couldn't visit him anymore.
There were still 7 years until his sentence ended, and my parents didn't have enough money to visit both him and my grandmother, so we only managed to visit my grandmother in Florida twice before he was released. We thought that after he was released, we'd get to visit both my grandparents in Florida. But right before he was released, before my grandmother had a chance to see him outside of prison for the first time in 20 years, the US government gave him a hard kick in the butt consisting of a deportation notice and an airline ticket to Colombia. My grandmother followed him there.
I've been trying hard to learn Spanish, but not much of it sticks. My dad talks to him through Facetime about once a week, but since my grandfather can't speak English beyond a few words, and I'm the same with Spanish, I can't talk to him.
Even after all he's been through, he still respects the heck out of the US and tells my dad all the time what amazing opportunities me and my siblings are going to have by living here. He's honestly the greatest man I know, and I'm so proud to be related to him.
It kills me that I can't communicate with him, and since he's almost 80 now, I might not get to see him in person before he dies. I have 7 siblings, and 4 of them haven't even gotten to meet their grandfather, and it's all because my aunt wanted to be with a guy.
Only a few of my siblings have been told about it, and hardly any of my relatives on my mom's side of the family even know he was ever imprisoned. Everyone just assumes my family doesn't talk to my aunt because she's never lived near us."
"My much older half-brother assaulted me over the course of 4 years when I was a teenager. It was very subtle when it started and built into more. It took a very long time for me to fully acknowledge that he had been intimately abusing me, and for a long time after that I felt guilty, felt like it was my fault. I still feel a great deal of shame surrounding all of this. I didn't tell my mom because I wanted to protect her from knowing that her oldest child was a monster. I didn't want to break her heart. I also had a fear that I wouldn't be believed, or that it wouldn't be taken seriously because most of it did not involve physical force in any way. I also didn't think I could survive it if my mom knew, but still maintained a relationship with him, so that risk was terrifying.
When I was older, she insisted I give her a good reason why I wasn't inviting him to my wedding, so I told her. She was horrified. She has essentially disowned him. She was understanding of my reluctance to be open about it, and hasn't pushed the issue at all since then."
"One of my uncles 'killed himself.' In reality, no one knows what really happened. No one knew who he worked for, but he was pulling in loads of money every year. Not even his wife knew what was going on. After years of this, he started acting funny for a couple weeks, jittery and on edge all the time. Soon after, his son found him hanged in their lake cottage. His knuckles were bloody and there were clearly signs of a struggle. The coroner even told one of my uncles who was pressing for details that this was not what it looked like.
Two more of my uncles started making calls to anyone they could, anyone that was in contact with him while he was alive, trying to find out anything. One day, one of my uncles got a call from an unknown caller with a masked voice that said, 'For your sake and the rest of your family's, do not pursue your search any further.' And that was when my uncles immediately stopped looking for answers. My dead uncle was obviously involved in some really shady stuff and even if they did find out what happened, it wouldn't have brought him back."
"My grandmother's older brother was a Nazi. And not just a regular, ground level Nazi, he was in prison a good long while when the war ended. He was Danish, so that made it even worse.
Also, my grandmother's dad and her other brothers hustled Jews trying to escape the country in 1939-1940. Jews would have to sell their belongings in order to get boat rides to Sweden, and my relatives would buy their belongings way underpriced.
Yeah, really makes you proud to think about it."
"I'll start by saying the Mafia is alive and well in New England. Anyone living up there can confirm that. They still pull the strings behind the scenes and still have a TON of influence. I'm gonna keep my uncle's second profession a mystery because Rhode Island/Massachusetts is one of those places where everyone knows everyone, and many will probably know exactly who he is because millions have seen him on TV, whether they know it or not. I'll just say it has to do with sports.
Anyway, my uncle was primarily a corrections officer at a big New England prison and yeah, he was on the take. He was receiving money under the table from the mob in exchange for special treatment for the mob-related prisoners. Maybe it was forced upon him or maybe he couldn't resist the money. Not sure, but the '90s were one big party for him and he lived lavishly. Fast cars, big parties, and he even had a heart attack on TV after doing an eightball of coke.
Fast forward to a federal investigation. In order to save his direct family, he took a plea bargain and sold out EVERYONE. He walked and dozens went to prison: coworkers and high and low ranking mafia guys, etc.
He also refused witness protection; not sure why. I suppose it's because the only life he ever knew was in New England.
Fast forward to present day and everyone he sold out is now slowly getting out after serving 20-30 years, and he's been receiving death threats all this time.
He had settled down and became a family man, raising my cousins. But in the past couple years, his lifestyle has completely reverted back to his old lifestyle, basically because he knows he's dead. He lives every day like it's his last and we're all just waiting for his murder."
"Way back in the day, before I was born, my parents (before they were married) lived in a pretty small village out on the countryside. Almost everyone knew each other there and it was the kind of village that didn't need the police since they handled everything by themselves. But one night, five men decided to violate a 17-year-old girl and threatened her. They told her that they would kill her if she ever told anyone. Regardless of the threats, she called the police who decided that there wasn't enough evidence and each one of the men had an alibi. The village people knew that those five men were certainly capable of this and that they had been a problem in the village for a long time. Two days later, the five men were found out in a field, dead. All shot in the head. And nobody in the village had heard or seen anything when the police asked. My parents knew who did it. One of my dad's best friends, whom I have all my life seen as an uncle, was apparently one of the people that pulled the trigger. It wasn't a murder in the typical fashion. They just looked after one of their own and handled it by themselves, as they always had. To this day, nobody was arrested for committing the murders."
"My grandmother told me this story recently. She's 91 and has outlived three husbands. My biological grandfather, her first husband, was deplorable. He drank too much, was physically abusive, and had multiple affairs. He once held an automatic to her head and violated her while his mistress waited out front in his truck.
Anyway, the second most messed up thing he did was after my grandmother's miscarriage. She had been pregnant with twins and miscarried at home around seven months. He didn't want to pay for a funeral, so he made her bury them in what she said was like an old pickle jar in the backyard. He didn't even dig the hole and she had just given birth. Two little boys, no names, no grave marker. Granted, it's kind of a weird area since they hadn't really been 'born' or 'lived' besides fetushood, but it still affected my grandma."
"My mom, for years, told my brother and I that she just had one sibling, my aunt. Then, she eventually told us that she had two brothers. One was about 7 years older than her and the other about 3 years older. The oldest ran away at 16 and could be dead, we have no idea.
The second oldest had serious mental issues because my grandmother had German measles while she was pregnant with him. Ultimately, because my mom's family were very poor and extremely dysfunctional, he never got treated and became psychotic. He would violate my mother for years until she was separated from her family and put into foster care.
So now, what my mother and my father don't know is that my own brother violated me as a child. I have no idea if abuse is genetic, but if it is, then it would explain what happened to me."
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"It's common knowledge in my family that my paternal great grandfather was a jerk who drank too much and that he died when my grandfather was 15. After his father died, my grandfather decided he would hitchhike out to California.
What most of my cousins don't know is that he was abusive to all nine kids, touching them. My Grandfather told me about him once when I was about 17, until then I never even knew my great grandparents' names. He told me about the abuse in the least graphic terms possible, how their house had cardboard boxes for insulation, that they were considered worst of the white trash of the town, and how they lived right next to the train tracks owned by the coal mining company. He told me that one day his dad got really wasted and somehow ended up passing out on the train tracks. My grandfather left him lying there to get hit by the train. He left town after because the police hated him because he was a punk back then and they wanted to charge him with manslaughter. He wasn't in a huge rush to get there, so it took him almost 4 years, but he eventually made it to California. He only stayed a month before he decided he hated it and turned around and went back to Kentucky."
"For probably most of my life, 40 years, my mother drank to cope. Don't know from what. She worked her way into a full-blown drinking problem and has been to rehab twice and almost died from drinking too much twice. We have spent a Christmas Eve in the ER because she fell and split her face open on the floor. She has been passed out in her car, pulled over, and let go because they thought she was sick. Her belly sticks out so bad now. Very sad.
My dad, who is retired now, was a full-time minister for 40 years. He always preached to us about the dangers drinking. He said you can't control it, no matter what you think. He knew my mom drank, but he was naive and he lived in epic denial for years. He forgives her very quickly and gets mad at us because we don't. Then he'll vent to us when she pukes on herself and he has to pick her up off the floor. He is a classic enabler and won't deny her money or a car.
My sister is torn apart by it and her two oldest kids don't want to see my mom. My kids are super young and only know little things about their Nana. I often wonder what my life would have been like if my mom didn't drink.
My mom is Irish and stubborn, so to admit she is/was wrong will probably never happen. This is our normal now. It's an awkward existence when the whole family is together. Nobody knew until a year or so ago and some close friends of my parents still don't know."
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