How good are you at keeping secrets? Some people can hold a secret for weeks or possibly months before feeling the need to tell someone, while others can keep a secret to themselves an entire lifetime.
People keep secrets for a multitude of reasons. Shame, guilt, fear are just some examples. Sometimes we have been hurt so much that we keep it locked away in the back of our minds, trying desperately to block the pain away. Some experts believe that our greatest fear is not death, but humiliation and judgement. We are afraid of being rejected, of being kicked out of the social group. We are afraid of being abandoned. We keep secrets in order to ‘keep the peace’.
Certainly there can be times when we feel that some things are personal and nobody else’s business (hello, social media), but there can also be times when keeping secrets can affect our physical and mental health. We may feel vulnerable if we expose ourselves to others. We don’t open ourselves up and try to seek the help we need. In some cases this may be caused by a lack of trust in others.
Recently, I began thinking about secrets and it suddenly occurred to me that I have been keeping a secret from those closest to me. In fact, when I come to think about it, I don’t think many people know about it all. An event took place in my life a long time ago that I have since buried quite deep, but the memory is still there. Sometimes I see or hear something that reminds me and the memory of it all comes flooding back and it can be incredibly strong.
I guess this is one of the reasons why I turn to writing; I can open myself up and ‘bleed’ upon the page. Writing allows me the freedom to put my thoughts down on paper and express any feelings I may otherwise find difficult. Writing can force you to be honest with yourself. It is believed that for some people, writing can help with the healing process. Even for non-writers, keeping a journal can be good for your mental health, such as depression.
I’m currently working my way through my first novel that I wrote some years ago. It’s one of those stories that keeps coming back to me; that needs to be told simply because the initial spark for this novel has been that ‘little secret’ (and keeping secrets can be a good plot device). It needs quite a bit of work and I know I have been avoiding it for some time. I guess like many of us, I have to face my daemons someday. I guess the time has finally arrived.
Have you got a secret you’ve never shared with anyone? Do you find writing helps you with the healing process? How good are you at keeping secrets? Do you think some things are better left unsaid?
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6 thoughts on “Writing and the Keeping of Secrets.”
i really enjoyed reading this! thank you for sharing and being so open
Thanks, I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
I definitely think I have a few secrets, things that I think it’s best I keep to myself. Sometimes I write them down, other times I imagine conversations with people who don’t exist, or versions of people who do exist, and I tell “them” my secrets.
I know one person who strongly propones the idea of writing down a secret and then burning the paper, as a way of releasing it.
I don’t know if I believe that fear of judgement/rejection is greater than fear of death for me, I do think it’s there, and I definitely think there is a power in having someone see you while you’re in a bad place, and continue to accept you. Many of my closest friends are people who, at one point, the two of us got into a dark place, and almost lost our friendship, but when emotions cooled we were able to see from the other’s perspective, heal the breach, and learn what it looks like when the other goes into a dark place.
I think we all need some who can accept us so thoroughly that we have no fear, though getting there takes time.
Thank you for sharing.
Hi Adam. I have seen some people on television write things down and then burn the paper as if releasing it. I have never tried that myself and I wonder if that works. I’m not entirely sure about fear of judgement/rejection being greater than death either, but I agree with you that if we have someone with whom we feel comfortable with during the bad times, that goes a long way towards healing. Thanks for your comments. 🙂
I do a great deal of journaling. Really helps get me “unstuck”
Keeping a journal is a great way to help clear the mind. I’m glad it works for you! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
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