Could you imagine faking your own death? Or lying on a regular base to your coworkers and loved ones? Those are just some of the things these 20 people are doing.

Read on for more details.

1. Lucky

Everyone thinks I’m self-employed and work hard for my income. Actually, I inherited a large amount of money in my youth and live off frugality and intelligent investing.

2. Brotherhood

I’m gay and I joined a traditional motorcycle club. I put myself back in the closet just so I can have the same sense of brotherhood, belonging, and friendship that I had in the military.

3. Israeli

What started as a misunderstanding from a colleague ended up as a big elaborate lie.

I was having a chat with a guy and I was talking about how I wanted to learn Hebrew. Later that week I heard from another colleague in the same team “so you’re Israeli?” And I was a bit busy and didn’t really pay attention so I just said yes.

Fast forward a year. I’ve slowly escalated the lie so now I get time off from work during Hanukkah and I’m a decent speaker of the language now because I had to keep up the act.

But I’m not Israeli. I’m not even Jewish.

4. Jehovah’s Witness

That I still believe in the religion to which my wife, parents, and in-laws belong to. If I didn’t, I’m not sure my marriage would survive, and all friends and family of the religion would be required not to talk to me anymore, forever.

If you’re wondering, the religion is Jehovah’s Witness.

5. Boiling Point

At work, I’m the easy-going, stress-free guy. I have to be the pragmatic and sensible one while my head chef gets to yell about whatever he wants. Outside of work, I get upset at the slightest provocation, and I’m quick to anger.

I think it’s about having someone to compare yourself to. With my chef, he’s ready to fly off the handle at any given moment, so I feel like I have to pick up his slack for sensibility. But when he’s not around (i.e when I’m not at work), I yell and scream at every little thing.

Maybe it’s a subconscious thing.

6. Role Play

Ten years ago I created a female character in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, complete with her very own full name and backstory: schools, love interests, hobbies, even favorite foods and level of intelligence.

After a year, I couldn’t just expose myself. So I just piled the lies, strategically excusing myself from guild meetups and outings.

As a trader, I had to deal with bank transactions. I set up a separate bank account and Facebook account, which I occasionally (once a week) updated about “my” daily life.

It didn’t help that I was one of the more prominent players in the community and thus couldn’t play the game with my real life friends as that would complicate things if they exposed my identity.

When it was time for me to go to university, I didn’t have time to play the game. And so I had to come up with an excuse that I was moving countries due to my dad’s job.

So here I am 10 years of catfishing finally ended without exposing myself. Of course, there were times where I slipped and mixed up identities.

7. Sex can be dangerous

In 2012, my sex partner fell on me while we were having sex (he was trying to do some strange position) and his hand (and body weight) landed between my shoulder blade and my neck, causing a partial tear to my rotator cuff and a bulging disc at my C6 vertebra. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time, I thought it was just a minor thing, and I live with my parents, so I told them that I hurt myself tripping and falling into my car. I didn’t want to tell them that I was injured during sex.

So it got worse and worse, and I had to get MRIs and found out what was wrong, and I had physical therapy for 3 months and that healed it, but then in 2014 I reinjured it doing laundry and had to have physical therapy again. In March of this year, I hurt it AGAIN doing laundry (and then made it worse moving wine barrels full of dirt) and so now it’s 2017 and my orthopedist has decided to do surgery on it. So, on Tuesday I am having surgery to repair the rotator cuff and also shave a bone spur that has popped up in my shoulder. The other day my Mom asked me again, “Is this all from falling into the car 5 years ago?” and I had to lie AGAIN and say yes, it was from tripping into the car, and I can never tell them the truth and it’s been the longest lie I’ve ever kept up (I hardly ever lie) and it sucks. But I don’t want to tell them the truth! It’s too embarrassing.

8. Secret Smutt

I am a pretty respectable person in real life. I am married and we have a house together. I have a nice job with a well-known company where I supervise several people. When people look at me, they see that I am super shy but very kind and I guess I look innocent?

Anyway, I went to school and graduated with an art degree, but there aren’t that many studios around here, so I’ve had to settle for freelancing on my own time after hours. What people don’t know, however, is that I draw a whole lot of p*rn, because it seems I am actually pretty good at that, and a lot of people like it. The more I have been doing it, the more interesting things I draw for people commissioning me. I don’t know how it just sort of… happened. A job is a job, that is the way I see it, and I will draw just about anything to make a commissioner satisfied. Also, everyone who has commissioned me is SUPER nice. It’s just that I would never tell anyone that is part of my ‘daytime’ life about this. Like, ever.

9. Closeted and confident

My friends think I’m asexual, my family thinks I’m single because I’m trying to achieve my dreams and trying to be independent. The truth is I’m just gay and living in an Arabic, Muslim country where the best solution for me is to stay single.

10. Sugar Daddy

My “uncle” is my sugar daddy. All my friends think I’m living with my uncle. My family thinks my new boyfriend is younger. But he is 47 and I’m a 21-year-old. Today I realized how intense the situation is when he told me that I eat too fast. I’m very slowly copping out.

11. Introvert

Everyone thinks I’m super sociable because I make easy conversation, can talk to anyone, and am generally outgoing. I have very few friends and get really exhausted by social interaction. I can do it, but I also just want to rest and to be alone afterward. I spend a lot of time alone and I’m happy that way. My boyfriend thinks it’s weird because he has a big group of friends but I’m just happy doing stuff alone and would rather have a night in with a book or watch a movie alone than go out with friends.

Also, I tell people I’m not ticklish. I’m very ticklish.

12. Lol

My first week on the job, my boss comes by with Twizzlers and ask if I like them. I say yes. I’m new, I’m in no position to have strong opinions on food yet. So she gives me two.

Now, at least once a week, she’ll save me two extra Twizzlers. And it’s so thoughtful and kind but I hate Twizzlers and think they’re nasty as hell. I’m just living this lie and I don’t wanna suddenly say, “Hey I’m more of a Reeses ‘kind of gal’, I only said I liked Twizzlers because it was my first week and I was nervous.”

So I just keep eating them hoping it gives me a food allergy so I can be done with it.

13. Oof

That I don’t need this crappy job. That I’m just here for something to pass the time. The fact is that I was once a millionaire. I fell head over heels for another woman although I was still married. I got divorced to be with this new lady. I lost everything in the 5 years it took to get divorced. I was able to keep my home but I was hopelessly in debt. My backup plan was that at some point I could sell my business and recoup the money I had to pay out in the divorce. But within 5 years of the divorce, my business was in serious trouble. I was able to sell it and get myself even but that was all. So at 50 years old, I was starting over.

I made the poor decision of marrying the new woman. She told me she would show me how to live on love. A few years passed and then the new wife has a massive stroke. Endless medical bills and rehab appointments followed. I actually move to a different state because I knew I need to find another job and I was too ashamed for anyone who knew me to see me take a job when I was always on top of the world before all this. Unfortunately, at this age, no one wants to hire you. I was finally able to find a minimum wage job that also offered insurance. My ego and pride will not allow me to tell the truth about my situation. So I pretend I’m still wealthy and I was just bored sitting around.

14. Afraid

That I like my girlfriend but honestly I just don’t want to be alone again.

15. Til my dying day

I’m dying. But no one knows. I do everything, as usual, go to the gym every day, eat well, study, go to work, the whole nine yards. Everything that I shouldn’t be doing and yet I still do it. Why? Cause I would rather die knowing I lived my life on my own with my own choices than live every day wishing I could be someone else. Even today it almost happened, I felt it in my chest. But I swallowed the pain and kept moving forward. I like making people smile, so I make jokes but it hurts… A lot. I wanna be the guy who has those few friends at the funeral, smiling thinking about what happened back in the day so I’m not gonna tell anyone. I’m not going to give in. Not till I know it’s my last second. Even then I’m gonna smile and laugh cause I know I’ve lived my life the way I see fit.

16. Psychopath

On the internet, I can be honest about being a multiply diagnosed psychopath. In the clinical, “no empathy” definition, not the misunderstood “strange person” definition. And yes really…. Not self-diagnosed or whatever.

In person, I have to constantly work to appear normal. It’s exhausting having to figure out when to laugh or say “that’s too bad”. I just don’t get it.

I’m apparently good at it because several people and a couple of my therapists say that I’m the most charismatic person they know.

Only one person plus the therapists know that that’s because I’m essentially Charles Manson without the cult. We share a personality type in that I find it easy to get people to want to do things they previously didn’t want to do.

I still feel some things, just not much. Rage, for example, is particularly difficult because I lack the counter balance to it. So if someone is annoying me (which is everyone all the time) I envision myself inflicted pain onto them.

It’s very tiring.

17. Divorce sucks

That I’m ok being single. Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally happy and have a good life. I’m divorced and in my mid-30s with a child and I didn’t think I would end up this way. If there was one thing I learned from my divorce though it was that I don’t have to settle, ever, and I won’t. Still, I’d really like it if Mr. Right came my way.

18. Dude, what?

I was best friends with these two people who also used to be friends with each other. They ended up hating each other but knew I was neutral and neither pushed me to hate the other. Over time things went downhill and I ended up telling one of them (call them person a) the other died (person b) so I was going to person B’s funeral instead of hanging out with person A. But in reality I was doing it so I didn’t have to tell person A that I didn’t want to be their friend anymore. So now person A and I aren’t friends and A thinks B is dead. Few months go by and person B starts acting like a bad friend and I think I should cut them out of my life. So I know I should confront them and just tell them but I end up getting scared and tell person B that I can’t see them because person A died and I’m going to their funeral. I soon after lose contact with person B.

About a year goes by and I figure out I made my own mistakes and have to atone for them and so I try and better myself and rekindle old friendships that weren’t actually all that bad. I’m now friends with both person A and person B again and they still think the other is dead because they have no way of contacting each other and they both moved locations.

19. Wasted Potential

That I’m smart. You all know the story. You were once “the smart kid.” You had so much potential, people would often say, and you’d believe it. You felt invincible in early grades, because you were smart, and didn’t have to try. But as years wore on, things got harder, and you found that in order to stay ahead, to stay “the smart kid,” you had to study, to apply yourself, and to use all that potential. However, you weren’t used to using any effort and expected it all to come naturally like it always did. Soon you were no longer the smart kid, you were just a regular person, keeping pace with everyone else, only trying a little less. Soon you fell behind because you never actually applied any of your potential and you were scared to start, because what if you failed? What if you were never as good as they said? After all, it’s better to be the kid with potential, who never used it, than to be the burnout failure, right? So you get by on sheer potential and laziness with a C average and pretend like you could do better if only you cared. But the reality is that, because you never tried, this is all you are. This is all you can be.

20. Rest in peace

I’m dead, when I graduated high school 7 years ago I was in a wreck and someone from my high school was on the first aid squad somehow they were told the other car’s driver was dead at the scene and I had a wrecked up car so everyone knew who’s it was.

When I got out of the hospital a month later I signed into Facebook, my wall was just a bunch of, RIP bro we’ll miss you blah blah blah. Since I had no family no one knew when my funeral was so they had a memorial at my highschool on my birthday in September. Yeah… I went to it since I was 50lbs lighter from 3 months earlier no one recognized me.

I’m going to my ten year anniversary and I might see if the local news wants a scoop on the story. I really do enjoy living the life of a dead man every time I go back to my hometown 20 miles away and see people that I knew but they don’t know that it’s me.

More great reads at Awkward:

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