Posted By on July 21, 2009

Telling secrets. So many secrets are held in families for the purpose of protecting someone. The secret actually becomes a member of the family in some respects. It takes up residence in the family relationships. Its presence is made known by its effects. And not talking about it becomes the language of silence, pretending, hiding, self doubt, and fear. I understand that everyone has their reasons; however, if you ever want to bring the secret out of hiding, it is helpful to first identify and strengthen the factors in family members that help them cope. These are things such as support systems both in and outside of the family. Continue to maintain routines and rituals. This is important as other changes occur because the familiarity provides stability as other changes begin to happen. It is often helpful to identify the times and places that all family members have been resilient in facing challenges, and how they have found ways to do more than cope, but to adapt and integrate whatever it was, into their way of being in the world now.  I saw a family do that this past week. It was powerful. They will do more than cope and survive. They will thrive and become authentically closer.

The secret ? It is looking to take up residence in another family. It’s doubtful that it will find a home, as long as the language of silence is a foreign dialect.

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3 Responses to “Secrets…”

  1. just-a-girl says:

    i wish that the secret in my family could be talked about openly. everyone knows it, but no one talks about it out loud. i am constantly understanding or learning new things about myself in various ways through-out my life from our secret. its harder when others don’t want to talk about it. or make you feel like “you should just get over it”. i finished “the courage to heal” and the work book. i highly recommend this book to anyone that has ever suffered any kind of abuse.

    for me dealing with being abused is similar to dealing with the death of a loved one. the pain never goes away, but it does get easier. there are always things that trigger a memory, so its always going to be there. its not like you say one day, ok “i’m good now.” it is a life long healing lesson.

    it would be easier to deal with it if i had the support of my entire family. for some people the secret is just too much to face. again, like death. some people just don’t go there. you know? thank god for best friends, good husbands and therapists! :)

    i wish more people would speak out. but they are filled with either guilt or shame. i hope to one day help others who have suffered from similar situations. if i could influence or change the life of just one person for the better, it will make all that horrible stuff have some purpose.

    • CDCole says:

      everyone knows about it …..but no one knows how to talk about it. Makes you wonder if the family is keeping the secret, or the secret is keeping the family.
      The first one to be open with is yourself. Tell yourself the secret. Write it down, say it out loud.

    • CDCole says:

      Best friends, Good husbands , and therapists! Yes indeed those connections help us heal, and support our getting our needs met in the time of now. Blessings to you and your supportive community.
      What I have seen happen with abuse that keeps it painful is actually the “secret” about it. Yes generally other people keep from discussing it, unfortuanately that is what allows it to continue to happen as a culture. Adults don’t bring it up, so children don’t think its okya to talk about it, orthey don’t know who is safe for them to talk to. So the system of secrecy adds to a culture of shame, and that process which keeps us from talking about it, in some ways keeps helps the culture of silence stay in place. Ah yes, how many layers there are to the systems. The encouraging changes that I have seen is that after an abused child begins to talk , and feels heard understood and validated, and gets the needs for safety and protection and guidence met, eventually they can help others to talk about it with out even without having to tell their own story. By being able to stay in conversation without judgements, holding the presence of being whole and innocent and without shame or attidues of victim or vengence.
      In that way we shift the energy for the ones who have yet to heal…holding space in the light for them to be drawn to. I applaud the way you shine your light. :)

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