Friday, May 27, 2011

Secret (noun): Something That Is Kept Or Meant To Be Kept Unknown Or Unseen By Others.

I can keep a secret. 

And then again, I can’t. 

                          Secret (adjective)
                                  “not meant to be known or seen by others”
                                                         - New Oxford American Dictionary

I have been told things by others, who specifically asked that I keep this information to myself, and ONLY to myself.  I abide by that wholeheartedly.  Those kind of secrets are important.  Sacred, even.

                         Secret (adjective)
                                  “fond of or good at keeping things about oneself unknown”
                                                         - New Oxford American Dictionary

But I don’t really keep secrets about myself anymore.  

While I only blog about .01% of my life, that is only because no one wants to read a manifesto on what I ate for breakfast and exactly what I thought of Oprah’s last show, which I didn’t watch since I was too busy grocery shopping in the rain.

Otherwise?  I’m an open book.  Because for me, secret-keeping was totally destructive. 

At a recent therapy appointment, we discussed whether and when I need to alert others to the fact that I’m bipolar.  I was expressing some concern about being judged or even shunned by others, should they know when I’m cycling between a manic and depressive stage. 

“You know,” my therapist said, “You are not obligated to tell any one about this.  This is your personal medical information and it doesn’t need to be any one else’s business.”

I understand what she was getting at.  But I think she missed an important point.  I have a very hard time admitting to feeling anything but SUPER-DUPER-GREAT!!!!!!! So I keep what’s bothering me secret.  Ashamed of being sad?  Keep it secret.  Ashamed of being angry?  Keep it secret.  Ashamed of being afraid?  Keep it secret. 

And suffer alone.

So keep your secrets?  Absolutely.  For most people, I suspect, you need a part of your life that is yours and yours alone. 

After all, our life is ours to share or not share with whomever we want.  It is necessary to protect the concept of None-Of-Your-Damn-Business-That’s-Why.  And I totally understand why there are certain things you don’t want certain people to know.  Certain things certain people shouldn’t know. Certain things certain people have no right to know.

Even I maintain some personal, inviolable, secrets about myself.

But I use my blog as a means to being honest about myself instead of hoarding my secrets inside where they fester and rot.

Because sometimes sharing secrets is, at least for me, the right thing to do. 

P.S. I know this post makes it seem like I have some giant secret just waiting to be revealed.  Sorry, but there isn’t.  My life is just as mundane as ever.  It’s only that the idea of secrets has been on my mind ever since that therapy appointment, and I wanted to explore it further. 

P.P.S Fine, I’ll expose a secret about myself.  All this talk about secret-keeping reminds me of the concept of the secret-keeper in the Harry Potter books.  Yes, I’ve read the Harry Potter books.  In fact, I’ve read them all more than once.  Maybe even twice.  I might have even participated in a Yahoo Group for adults wishing to discuss, analyze, and fawn over the Harry Potter books.  When I obsess, I OBSESS.

*Title courtesy of the New Oxford American Dictionary. 


Cake Betch said...

That's kind of what my blog is too. I run it like I am talking to a friend who I think (and hope and pray) won't judge me for the things I say :-)

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Cake Betch - I often challenge my readers to "go ahead, JUDGE" and usually they never do. The internet has been kind to me that way.

Handflapper said...

I think I will go ahead and post what I wrote two days ago, because I, too, want people to think I'm okay. I can make jokes about not being okay once I'm past the not-okayness once again, but I never let anyone in when I'm really REALLY not okay.

Thanks for sharing your secrets. (I am a huge Harry Potter fan as well. Shhh. Don't tell.)

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Handflapper - I'm glad you will be posting again, even if it's just to talk about things that suck. I've missed you!

Anonymous said...

I was about to tell you how weird it is for me that my life is an open book, and how I have very little ability to separate public from private, since everything I think/feel/do is unhidden from others. Then I realized I spend more than half my online time writing as my secret identity. Never mind.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@bettyfokker - secret identity aside, your voice is still out there. And to me that is a good thing.

Marianna Annadanna said...

You're one of the blogger glas that helped me come to terms with my own bullshit depression, and helped me to reaach out on the interwebs. Handflapper too. Thank you for that.

I try not to be secretive in Real Life, but I have been known to omit details. My blog is the place where I control the flow of information, on my terms. And that's why I like it. Keep it up doll.

dbs said...

If I don't let a few secrets out I tend to eat them.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Marianna Annadanna - blogging is incredibly therapeutic. You keep it up, too.

@dbs - awesome!

mominrome said...

I just wanted to let you know that I added your "You are pregmant if..."

Dana said...

I tend to be an open book about most everything. Usually it's rather freeing. And yes, the blogosphere helps you realize you're not alone with most things, which is always comforting.