The family is like a sect. You live together and share common values. You have a chief that sets the pace for the rest. In this context you also have family traditions that have been passed down from generations. In some families, there are secrets that everyone seems to know about but no one talks about. Some secrets are openly talked about within certain families whereas in other families it is a taboo. Undying loyalty to family member is the main reasons why some dark secret are never revealed. At times, this is done at the expense and suffering of the whole family.
Adoption: Have you always felt you never really belong to your family? Some children were adopted as babies and have never suspected that they were adopted. What might triggers suspicion might be the lack of pictures of your mother's pregnancy. You might not see pictures of yourself when you were really little. If you were the curious type, you would have asked your mother and she would have given you a plausible reason. At the time, the reason will be satisfactory until many years later. Secrets like these have a funny way of being revealed. A child might inadvertently stumble across his adoption papers when going through family documents. Others come across this when searching for birth certificates. Medical situations also have a strange way of revealing family secrets. Your mother might need a medical surgery and you volunteer to be a donor. Unfortunately there is not match because she is not your birth mother. Can you imagine the shock? Not only do you have to deal with a medical situation, but also have to deal with the emotional impact of knowing you have being lied to all your life.
Mummy Kissing Santa: If you are unfortunate enough to witness your father or mother having an affair, you will be in emotional turmoil for a very long time. Should you tell the innocent partner? It might be easier if you are already an adult and you live away from the family house. You could at least use that as an excuse not to be in contact with your parents. If on the other hand you still live in the same house, you have a moral dilemma. If you tell, you might end of breaking up your parent's marriage. You might also end up get stuck with the guilty parent. If you don't tell, you will have to carry a huge burden for many years. There is no easy solution to this, but keeping silent is not the best option. You are not there to solve your parent's marital problems and the quicker you get things off your chest the better. You could at least let the cheating partner know you are aware of the situation. It is then up to him or her to deal with it. From then onward, your job is done.
Incest: This is one of the darkest secret a family might have. Where do you start if you are the victim. Should you tell? Is it your fault? Will people believe you? Does this happen in other families, hence, is it normal? Contrary to popular belief, women and men are just as guilty with regards to incest. How many women know that their husbands might be sexually abusing a child and still refuse to face the truth. It is not because of the belief that the act is correct, but more about the shame it brings. What about siblings' incest relationship. Parents are aware of it, but what do you do? What would you do if you daughter is pregnant and you know the culprit his your son? Do you go to the police? Do you adopted the child and pretend it is yours instead of your daughter's? There is no easy way to this with this. Until recently, incest was never mentioned nor reported to local authorities. Things are beginning to change and people now see the need to call in the police and seek counseling. Remember the case of Joseph Fritzl who raped his daughter and fathered about 7 children with her. Sadly, that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are more sordid stories to be told only if those involved have the courage to come out. Incest is a family secret that many will take to the grave with them.
Murder she wrote: As gruesome as this may sound, murder can also be a family secret. Some families have conspired to make someone disappear and kept the secret. Rosemary West and her husband were a classic case of murder and secrecy. One kills, the other helps to hide the crime. It is a sort of partnership in crime and secrecy. In such a case, every family member is involved and there is no way any of them is going to call the police. It is like this "if I go down, I'll take everyone with me" . This reminds you of how the mafia operates. You can get in but there is no way of getting out alive. You also have to commit a serious crime that will ensure you will never get the urge to inform the authorities. You could also say such a family secret is like a dangerous sect where the guru brainwashes everyone. Consequently, there is very little chance of the secret leaving the family.
Illegal Immigration: You've heard about arrange marriages and prefabricated love. These types of secrets are not shared with extended family members. You keep the cards close to your chest and pray the authorities wouldn't get their nose into your business. Talking about business, most of those who get involved in this type of secret don't do it for charitable reasons. It is business and you feel you've got nothing to lose. You might even end up finding love. Other family members might be suspicious but there is the rule "don't tell, don't ask".
Gay: How many married men and married women are secretly gay. They might have children and still lead a double life for so many years. This type of secret is easier to keep for some but others just throw in the towel and confess everything. This might mean the end of a long marriage and the beginning of misery for everyone involved.