There's nothing worse than knowing something you weren't supposed to know since the weight of that secret often ends up ruining your mood and life for a long period of time. Some secrets are best kept hidden, even the exciting and juicy ones that won't traumatize you.
The people in the stories below saw or heard some things they definitely weren't supposed to see, and they share with us how they dealt with those situations and how things turned out.
When I was 8 or so my old nanny/baby sitter (choose which you prefer) was showing me a video of her time with her boyfriend in Paris. After it blacks out for a few seconds it then suddenly cuts to her lying on her hotel bed completely naked, legs spread, telling her boyfriend to 'come get it'. She jumped out of her seat tried to cover my eyes and told me to never tell anyone. I have now told potentially thousands of random strangers
Growing up with my little brother and single Mom we never had a lot, but she made sure we always had a safe and decent place to live and there was always food on the table. She never really ate much, I remember dinners of baked chicken, beef stew, salmon (it was a lot cheaper a million years ago)... good food, nothing terribly extravagant, but always nutritious, yet she barely ever ate. When I was 10 I saw her eating pb&j on crackers in her room after dinner. That's when I realized there was never enough food for all 3 of us, she would cook what we had for my brother and I and she would eat the bare minimum, always out of sight, so that my brother and I wouldn't worry about the actual level of poverty we were at. I never asked for another material thing from her after that night.
I looked down.
...I shouldn't have looked down
I used to do a little work after school at a local comic shop. One day after school I was bagging comics when the owners buddy came in. "Look at these! Came out great!" He had a stack of glossy amateur porn, featuring the shop owner, his buddy, and the owners wife fucking. He laid them out all over the counter and they started pawing through the stack excitedly. From what I could see it looked like the three of them enjoyed one another's company equally and vigorously.
Then they noticed I was there. I got sent home early with a stack of free comics.
I was helping MIL cleaning out her closet. All was jokes and laughter until I pull out an unopened massive dildo. We were both paralyzed for a moment before she slowly took it out of my hands and mumbled something about the dildo not being what she tought it would be like and that she ordered it online. She then backed out of the room and threw it in a cupboard. We then proceeded to clean the rest of the closet.
I desperately wanted to tell SO about this awkward event but decided to spare him.
Not me but a coworker several months before I started at the company. Big boss man comes back from a site visit/weekend at his cabin not too far from site. Has someone burn all photos from his camera to a CD and makes a couple of copies. One copy is with my coworker and another guy looking at photos from site. Suddenly the photos of the site trip ends and there are topless photos of big boss mans wife at their cabin on the disc.
But wait, there's a twist: Another copy of the same set of photos was currently in the boardroom PC where big boss man is showing photos to the client. My coworker doesn't know what to do, tells our lead administrative assistant. She confidently marches into the boardroom and ejects the disc interrupting the meeting. Big boss man asks, "what are you doing?" She simply says, "there's a problem with the disc." and leaves.
Went to a co-workers house to help get the scanner to work, which hasn't worked since her daughter had tried to use it a few days earlier. I tried to load the software, which would hang while trying to connect to the scanner.
A quick power cycle of the scanner, and the software loaded. The software defaulted to the "recent scans" screen. The most recent scan was the genitalia of my co-worker, her daughter or I suppose it could have been a page from a XXX magazine that just happened to be exactly what you'd see if you were squatting over a scanner.
My hotkey skills were fast, so I may have Alt+F4'd before she saw what I did, but once that software worked, I used a different program to perform a test scan.
Easy, but uncomfortable way to earn $20.
I was driving from West Berlin to West Germany in the late 1980's. My bf gives me wrong instructions so I have to take an exit off the Autobahn to turn back and get back to the correct exit.
On the small country road on which we found ourselves, we see a large truck with a missile on it, surrounded by Russian soldiers.
They were as surprised as we were, but just laughed and waved at us, as we got the hell out of there as quickly as possible.
My dad once handed me his tablet and suggested I look at an ebook or something, while we were sitting around in a theater waiting for a play to start. I don't know if I misunderstood him or what, because when I brought up his amazon reader app, I saw that the last book he had been reading was "How to deal with a sexless marriage" or something along those lines. Dad was very embarrassed, quickly took the tablet back, and we did not speak of what had just transpired.
Another time, dad handed me his phone and asked me to look up something for him, while we were sitting around the living room at a family get-together. When I opened his browser app, the last page open was porn. The video began autoplaying and I frantically tried to figure out how to close the tab, but all I really managed to do was look at the video for far longer than I wanted to. So I shoved the phone back at my dad and said youneedtoclosethetabIcan'tfigureouthowI'msorry and we once again did not speak of what had just transpired.
There were also another couple of times where I went to use his computer and there was either a bunch of porn open in his browser or some kind of porn in the CD tray.
Dad is a bit absent-minded.
I was about 8 or 9 and my parents were going to be out of town so they had me and siblings stay with a family from our church. Once we got to the house (which was really nice BTW) they had one rule, you can play wherever you want but the basement is off limits. Me being the little bastard that I was snuck down there first chance I got and was supremely disappointed to only find rows and rows of plants growing under lights.
More heard than seen, but...
I was golfing with my mother's fiance when he got a phone call. He had his cell volume turned up really high, and I overheard a woman who wasn't my mother say some things, including the phrase "fuck and suck," in a seductive manner. I convinced myself that it wasn't my business, or that I'd misunderstood, and dropped it.
A few years later, her now-husband was revealed to be a serial cheater, with active partners numbering in the dozens.
Yes, I still feel like shit.
Yes, they're divorced.
Saw a Homer Simpson keychain in my mom's desk drawer. Didn't say anything.
Two weeks later its in my Christmas stocking and she goes "Wow, how did Santa know how much you like the Simpsons".
Thats how I figured out Santa must've been sleeping with my mom.
I was bartending and it was slow. I was putting away glasses by the only two people sitting at the bar. They seemed a new couple, very touchy, etc. At some point I noticed that she was wearing a wedding ring and he was not. Right as the music died down between songs, he turned to her and said:
"You know, they're going to ask you where you were when he drowned."
Noped out of there real damn quick.
EDIT: This was five years ago now, but from what I remember they definitely knew I heard them. I was like two feet away. I froze for a second and then turned and went straight into the kitchen. I was freaking out with the kitchen staff and trying to figure out what to do. When I came back out they had paid cash and left. I debated calling the police, but had no other info besides what I thought I heard. I freaked out for a few days. Never heard anything about anyone drowning. I didn't keep it a secret, either, I have told this story a LOT. And this was a small town where people have nothing better to do than talk, so if there was a scandal, it was common knowledge what I had heard.
When I was 14 and friend hosted a birthday party at his house with all the parents invited. Needed to use the restroom but the main one was occupied so my friend told me I can use the one in his moms bedroom. As I walked up to the door I could hear somebody in there so I decided to wait until whoever was in there was finished. A good 10 minutes later, my friends mom (who was hosting the party) and another good friends step-father walk out and see me standing there all confused. They asked what I was doing there and I just said I was waiting to use the bathroom. Surprisingly they played it cool and just said I can use it now and walked off.
I saw a couple banging under a secluded water fall in the woods on a hiking trip with my parents when a was 12. Majestic AF.
I saw an employees check stub that he dropped. He had been there for a month and was making what I made after my first year and was not a very good worker. I got a raise