We all grew up rocking out and singing along with the Romantics. C’mon, you know you did. Admit it. And then, of course, that same hit song made us really wonder just what we were spilling when we were off in dreamland!
Everyone has secrets, from our grandmother’s molasses cookie recipe to the identity of the first person you kissed when everyone else thought it was your boyfriend. For some women, it’s their age or their weight. For some men, it’s the actual number of sexual partners, or their real college gpa. Some secrets can be shared, but some go to the grave. How do we discern which is which?
I perused a few “relationship” advice type sites, and interestingly, though some were “for men” and some were “for women,” both had very similar admonitions. Secrets can be destructive in a relationship, but sometimes they can be beneficial. Your partner doesn’t actually need to know the exact number of sexual partners you’ve had, or certain experiences you’ve had that you aren’t proud of having. Perhaps the biggest paradox I read (with contradicting answers) was whether or not to reveal infidelity. Some advocate complete openness. Others agree if it was a relationship, but advise that if it was a drunken one night mistake indiscretion, to never mention it. It was one mistake that you won’t repeat, and revealing it would only destroy your partner unnecessarily. These, of course, are much more extreme examples of secrets kept, but reading the fervor with which people would argue their side was fascinating.
I thought about the secrets I keep, those things that no one else knows, and wondered if I would ever consider bringing them into the light of day. Admittedly, mine are nowhere near as damaging or as serious as the ones I read about in the articles, but they are still mine. They are still locked away inside of me, just the same. People do tend to confide in me because I have a reputation among my friends as one who doesn’t run her mouth. You tell me something in confidence, it stays there. When it comes to my own stuff, though, I think my trust issues along with that ability to keep silent and it multiplies into a tendency not to share my thoughts and feelings with people.
That’s one way in which this blog writing thing has been good for me. Sometimes secrets can eat away at you, eroding strength and faith in yourself as the time goes by. Bringing them to light, discussing the damage that’s been done, and dealing with that damage will hopefully prevent similar damage from being done to someone else. I definitely know there are people who do not agree with me in this, as evidenced by the crap I took for discussing my past. But there still those that stay inside my head and my heart; some small, some bigger, but all them quite content to stay hidden for now.