Secrets

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Self-Care, Trauma

Secrets

“Silence bruises the heart.”  Elizabeth Rosner, the speed of light

“Please find a way to  safely speak your truth because the healing process cannot begin until you do… it is absolutely possible to heal and  get your life back.”  Wade Robson

**This post contains scenarios that may trigger strong feelings or reactions.  Please follow the instructions at the bottom of the page if you need help.

Secrets are part of being human.

We all struggle with secrets.  You are not alone.  What do you fear revealing about yourself?  And what has been the cost of your silence?  

Secrets about Trauma Experiences

Cathy is a 37-year-old woman, married twelve years, mother to two children in elementary school.  She is an outgoing, vivacious person, passionate about the outdoors and fitness, involved at her children’s school.  She and her husband have a loving relationship, though Cathy dislikes affectionate touch and rarely wants to kiss during sex.  She has never told anyone that she was raped by her father’s friend when she was 9 years old.  She fears that others, even her husband and closest friends, would be disgusted if they knew.

Maybe you also carry a secret about a trauma that haunts you:  You were raped or abused.  Someone close to you committed suicide.  You killed someone in a war, or you witnessed a horror that continues to torment you.  A family member or friend died when you were a child, and you have been alone with the pain of this loss.  You are being bullied, blackmailed, or abused right now…

Secrets about our Bodies

Sandra is an 18-year-old college student.  In high school, she was a star athlete and a straight-A student, but college has been more challenging; whenever her performance falls below her standard, Sandra is filled with panic and self-hatred and cannot calm down until she cuts herself.  The weather is turning warmer now, and her roommates are starting to ask why she’s still wearing long sleeves.  She dreads discovery and wonders if she is “going crazy.”

Maybe you have a secret about your body:  You cut yourself.  You have an eating disorder or an exercise addiction.  You have less and less control over your involvement with alcohol, drugs, sex, or porn.  You are having an affair.  You have scars that you fear are repulsive.  You struggle with infertility.  You have had a miscarriage or an abortion.  You are battling a serious illness.  You have a sexual dysfunction…

Secrets about Identity

Paul is a 42-year-old single man, a successful DJ who loves being in the spotlight and working the crowd.  He feels confident and attractive when entertaining people, but he becomes paralyzed when having one-on-one conversations, especially with women.  Paul has never been in an intimate relationship.  He admits only to himself that he’s terribly lonely and thinks about ending his life…

Maybe you have a secret about a part of your identity:  You are having a crisis of faith and fear that your faith community will reject you.  You are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and you know no one who could be safe for you in this reality.  Your son or daughter has an addiction or a mental illness, and you are plagued by the thought that you have failed as a parent.  You believe you are an impostor in your workplace, and you fear being “found out.”  You are in financial crisis.  You feel so worthless or trapped that you have contemplated suicide.

Secrets are the enemy of healing.

Silence and avoidance can give us a temporary sense of control, but they cannot bring healing or freedom.  When we keep ourselves hidden in fear or shame, our secrets and traumas actually have more power to control us, define us, haunt us, and drain us of hope.  There is hope in telling your story. 

What to do if you need help

**If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please:

  1. Tell the safest person in your life that you are not okay.  Ask this person for help finding a therapist or getting what you need.
  2. Go to your nearest emergency room.
  3. Call 911. 
  4. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

 

 

 

 

 

About Lynn Davies

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Maryland. I have been in private practice for over fourteen years and have experience working with adults and adolescents, addressing a variety of issues: anxiety, depression, relationship problems, past or current trauma, eating disorders, self-mutilation, bereavement, parenting concerns, boundaries, and self-care.

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