My great grandfather was a hitman, and my whole family lives on the land he acquired with his blood money and connections.
Found out my father had a secret family and that we were it – his wife and kids don’t know about us to this day. Also found out a while later that an uncle had an ex wife and kids he kept quiet about too.
My uncle is only my mom’s half-brother. He’s like the third out of six and looks identical to his uncle(my nana’s brother-in-law). Ironically my nana claimed her parents were swingers and it seems the trend continued. On my dad’s side, I have an uncle who doesn’t know he’s my uncle and is a regular customer at my job. Super nice guy, talks about his mom and “dad” all the time.
My great-grandparents were first cousins. They had two sons who were severely intellectually disabled, and instead of putting them in an institution – which is what everyone did at the time – my great-grandparents bought a farm out in the country and kept them home. They both died fairly young. My grandmother never mentioned any of this, I found out after she died by doing some genealogical research.
Also my maternal grandmother had a stillborn son. She told me about giving birth to him one day – I was her caregiver in the last year before she died – and how they buried him at the feet of a single woman who had died. My mother and none of her siblings knew any of this. She also had two miscarriages. So 8 pregnancies and 5 kids.
Once I turned 24, I found out that my “uncle” was actually my cousin!
(I will now refer to him as my cousin for the rest of the story in attempt to avoid confusion. Even now, it’s confusing for me to even write this story).
Apparently the story goes that my aunt was raped when she was really young (13/14), got pregnant, and had my cousin. My nana decided that my aunt was too young to raise a child and raised him as if he was her own. The unspoken rule in the house was that my cousin was supposed to be treated as a brother by my mom and her siblings (whom were all 6-10 at the time).
As time went on, it just became natural for my mom and her siblings to treat my cousin as their brother and told their future children (including me) to refer to him as “Uncle (insert name here)”.
Throughout my entire childhood, I only knew him as my uncle and the interaction behind him and my aunt (his mother) seemed like a sibling one instead of a mother/son relationship.
I only found out about this when I was filling out some forms that needed a detailed family medical history. After finding this out, I asked my mom for confirmation and she then told me the whole story. Still to this day, I will always think of him as my uncle.
It’s really weird even writing this.