Secrets – When You Hold and When You Receive

There is a saying that we are as sick as our deepest secret. What happens when we keep what we see as our most shameful or hurtful secret to ourselves?

stock-photo-20604007-young-woman-looking-through-red-curtains-rear-viewSecrets have a tendency to fester and grow until they consume us. They can infect our mental, physical and spiritual health and  because we don’t reach out to someone else for comfort, guidance, healing, or even a listening ear, we feel alone. The secret most often takes on a life of its own. It can double, triple and often quadruple in our minds. Are  we really objective about our own transgressions or do we minimize or maximize?

12363983-upset-mom-with-frustrated-daughter-over-green-backgroundIf we stay in our own heads, we are not exposed to reason or forgiveness of others or ourselves. Most often, when we hold secrets concerning our emotions, circumstances, incidents or missteps, the knowledge becomes like a splinter. It may start out like a splinter of  minor thought, action or event but it festers into a pus filled volcano of emotion that can no longer be contained. That emotion can take the form of anger, confusion or sadness. Have you ever exploded at someone in unreasonable circumstances and wondered, “Where did that come from?” We have shamed, blamed and punished ourselves for so long that the pressure has built up to a point where it can no longer be contained.

19287090-dice-un-secretoAm I suggesting that you open up to everyone you know? No way! Choosing who you tell is as important as the telling. Choose someone with whom you feel totally comfortable. Sometimes a total stranger can be that person because they can be unbiased and have nothing to gain by betraying your confidence. Trust is an important ingredient in choosing someone to whom you are willing to expose your vulnerability. I ask myself if the secret is just too juicy for them to repeat?
Family conflictThere is often a worry that we are putting someone on the spot
by asking them to keep our secrets. When you are put into the position where you feel that the secret needs to be repeated, just remind yourself  that it is not your story to tell. If our confider wanted others to know, they would have told them. By repeating the secret, we are telling them that they were right not to confide in anyone and next time they won’t and are back to square one. Also, repeating the secret to someone who may be affected will inhibit the confider’s opportunity to work through the situation on their own. Confronting or admitting deep held secrets is an opportunity to grow and/or gain confidence.

Even the word “Secret” has taken on a bad word connotation as in: not being nice to keep secrets, secret life, secret meeting or secret bank account etc. I rarely have secrets that I have not confided in someone. Some think that I should not “tell on myself” but I choose to live happy, joyous and free and to me that means purging myself of my secrets and accepting forgiveness even if that forgiveness is only my own.

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Beyond the Political Stage

Oddly, I found myself in tears as I read an article about how the Trump campaign had a plan to have 3 women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual improprieties towards them confront him on national television.

This is not the first time I have experienced this sadness throughout this campaign as I watch the negativity increase. I am very uncomfortable with the cruel remarks thrown at Hilary Clinton. I don’t know if it is because I have read her book and followed her personal life or if it is just discomfort at all she is and is not. I see her downfalls but I am able to set those aside and see her as a strong woman. I cannot dismiss all the positive she has done. There was a time that I saw her as a selfish manipulative woman when she and her husband left the White House taking the furniture with them.

Looking past her sense of entitlement I see the woman who I have found truly loves her husband with all his faults. She has been publicly humiliated so many times and has held her head up and gone forward. She has sacrificed her right to be seen as a mother, wife and friend in order to do what she has the talent to do to help her country and everyone in it.

Hilary is being criticized for the way she has confronted her husband’s infidelity and the women involved but I ask myself what it would be like to be in her shoes. Many women would behave as she did but they wouldn’t be in the public arena.

What do I feel about Bill Clinton? He has also done a lot for our country but he has a sickness that I find repulsive. There was a time that I thought Hilary only stayed with Bill because they had a deal, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” I don’t know if that is the case but I think that she loves him in a way that he is not capable of returning.” Having had the opportunity to show his love for her, he only lifts her up as a humanitarian and politician. He doesn’t show or express his love for her in a way that would show the soft side of her. Has she just been a means to an end? He is like a child who has to be controlled and when he is let out to play, his lack of finesse shows. To me, he’s like the husband of a friend that you just put up with for her sake.

Hilary is in a “no win” situation with regard to her personality. If she shows her soft side, she is too soft to be President and when she shows her business side, she isn’t soft enough. When she missteps, the world is there to see. Am I voting for her? I don’t know but I know that as tempted as I have been with all Trump’s promises, I cannot see past him as a person. I can’t see myself voting for him for anything. I have never admired him throughout my life so why would I support him?

Why the tears? I think perhaps all this brings up the sadness of my childhood involving infidelity and chaos. Additionally, it is because when we dismiss political correctness, we are left with such ugliness and lack of compassion, anything goes. I am starting to see the days of chaos and no credible laws of the Roman Empire returning.

It is my belief that the reason the USA is desirable is that we were at least organized and had a sense of decorum. The Unites States was seen as a strong country and I see it weakening on all levels as every day goes by. When anything goes, will we survive as a united country?

Gossip

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One of my pet peeves is when someone tells me something that someone else said about me and asks me not to tell the person who did the saying. I don’t tell the person who did the saying because I don’t intentionally want to stir up trouble. So, I stew over it and the resentment builds up and ends up coming out sideways. What I mean by “coming out sideways” is that like a pressure cooker, the anger, hurt and frustration build up until it blows, often directed at the wrong person. Its a no-win situation. I have started letting people know that I am not open to hearing what others say about me, especially if they are going to ask me not to say anything to that person. My grandson once told me that his friends said I am fat. I told him that it didn’t hurt me that they said it, it hurt me that he told me about it. I told him that I would have thought he wouldn’t want to hurt me like that. It seemed to have gone in one ear and out the other. He has heard adults gossip and stir up trouble and is waltzing down the same path.

 

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A counselor I went to had a really good grasp on gossip. Here is what he shared:

When someone tells me a piece of gossip, to ask myself why they are telling me this and why are they telling me at that time or to ask them these questions. Most often, the real answer is that they want to create chaos but if nothing else, it will make them stop and think about what they are doing. Another suggestion was to ask the person who is telling you something another person said about you, “I really would prefer to hear this from them.” or “I really need to hear this from them.” This suggestion could also be used in regard to gossip about other people.

 

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Do I gossip? I would have to say that I am a work in progress. I have consciously avoided gossiping recently. The thing I have learned about gossip, besides that it hurts the person or persons being gossiped about, is that it is an addiction like any other addiction. Here’s an experiment: Notice how you feel when you repeat gossip (if you do). Chances are you will get a high from participation in a gossip session. Also, try to stand by and listen to a gossip session without saying anything. And then, see what happens when someone tells you a tidbit of juicy gossip and you try not to tell anyone

 

9362132-bright-picture-of-young-woman-listening-gossipI think you will find as I have that it is, indeed, an addiction. You see, if you have had chaos in your life, that becomes your comfort zone because it is what you are accustomed to. You become addicted to chaos and because you need it to feel alive, you will cause chaos either unknowingly or knowingly. It’s sad really because you might have been a different person had you not experienced all that chaos. Understand that most of us don’t even realize that is going on within us.

 

 

3487178-dos-muchachas-j-venes-intimidaci-n-otra-ni-a-al-aire-libreWhen I was in elementary school, I made fun of a girl who rode my bus for being pregnant. I was repeating what I had heard and obviously didn’t care if I hurt her reputation or feelings, nor did I stop to realize that it was just gossip. Her mother called my mother to let her know what happened. My mother took me to their house and we sat down with her and her mother to talk about it. I don’t remember what was said but I remember being made aware of the seriousness of what I had done. I had to apologize and really meant it. I think my mother handled the situation very well. There was no screaming or punishment, I was made to face the girl and her mother in front of my mother and to face up to the hurt I had caused and the damage that was done. Even after the meeting with them, my mother didn’t treat me badly or stonewall me. My parents did not punish if you were honest, so for the most part, we were honest kids.

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I didn’t gossip much in high school because we were a pretty close-knit smaller school. I was friendly with the different groups, from the overachievers to the underachievers and hung out with the achievers even though I was an underachiever. Another reason I didn’t gossip was that my boyfriend “told” me not to. I was surprised at how easy it was not to gossip back then. I wish I could say it lasted but it didn’t.

9663423-shocked-mother-among-wild-little-girls-at-a-sleepoverI had a moment of epiphany recently after reading a post by nutsrok.wordpress.com about child abuse. I have known for a very long time that I am emotionally stuck at 15. When someone experiences a trauma, they stop growing emotionally at that age and I went through a very difficult time starting when I was 15. I shut down emotionally at that point and couldn’t even cry for at least a year. My epiphany was that the 15 year old inside me is defensive, needy, angry, insecure and fears abandonment. It is not me, the real me, that acts out and the adult in me is responsible for reining her in. I have gone through therapy after therapy and I know what needs to change but I don’t make the effort. I come to a point in therapy that I quit going because it doesn’t do any good if you don’t use what you learn. However, I still can’t keep myself from chasing the problem to find the answer. Children of Alcoholics often become self-help junkies. Then, there comes a moment of epiphany and I embrace the problem and take baby-steps, one day at a time, to overcome the negative thing that is ingrained in me. That is where I am today.

 

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I no longer want a life of chaos! I have had a taste of peace and crave more. I know now how important it is for me to parent that 15 year old girl. To stop her from destroying both of us and love her through the tough times. My question is, why did it take until I was 63 or is it 64? I truly don’t know how old I am because Danny and I are both young in our minds and hearts. Does it even matter?

“Jumping on the Band Wagon”

Have you ever noticed how so many of us jump on the “band wagon” when a current event hits the media? It doesn’t matter what the media says, it doesn’t matter whether the information even makes sense, we react. Its pretty obvious that the media is going to spin it in a way that will get more readers or viewers. Sensationalism gets attention. No matter that people lose their jobs, have their reputations damaged, or commit suicide because they are tried in the media. We often choose to believe or grab on to the information that is the most sensational, fits our beliefs, or often just the best gossip. The media says we “have a right to know” but do we? Does the public have a right to know what is going on in our homes or the lives of public figures when the information doesn’t aid anyone except to create mistrust, fuel gossip and/or cause hysteria?  We say that the subjects of the sensationalism “have their day in court” or an opportunity to speak out in their own defense. But do they? If they are found to be innocent of the accusation, does the media “always” follow up with that information? No, they don’t and whether they do or don’t often haven’t we have already made up our minds, hasn’t the damage already been done? How often is the damage undone? Isn’t it a lot like bullying?

In recent months, I have defended three people who have proven to be guilty of sex crimes or sexual behaviors.  All, I can say in my defense is that I gave them the benefit of a doubt so as not to “jump on the bandwagon”. All three were  people I respected so I did not want to believe they could be guilty. What does that say about my credibility?