Healing from the Secrets of Your Past
Silencing an issue doesn’t make it go away.
-Dr. Anne K. Gross
Why do people keep secrets? Many times we do so with the best of intentions: to spare others of our problems; to move on from the past; to protect our privacy. But we also hide things out of our fear that others would reject us if they discovered who we really are. Would my husband still accept me if he knew that I had a drinking problem? Would my friends disappear if they knew how debilitating my chronic illness really is? As a result, we present an image to those closest to us that flies in the face of our daily reality. These “secrets” can be particularly harmful; because family members must work hard every day to create a picture of themselves that is at odds with their daily life.
Chances are, your family has concealed the truth around certain hot topics–whether it is related to addiction, mental illness, disability, etc. Such family secrets are more common–and more harmful–than you may realize. And although we usually don’t think of such concealment as being akin to keeping secrets–often we view it as adopting an upbeat, positive outlook–such an attitude can lead to silence, anxiety, and self-blame that can compromise relationships and create family dysfunction that can resonate for generations.
Read on to see the downside of silencing the truth, as well as tips on how to heal from the secrets of your past…