I recently came across the most disturbing thing in my life, and when I refer to my life I am basically talking about my family life. Untold secrets.
You know how you would meet new people almost every day? Recently I just met this guy through a friend. What we had in common was that we listen to the same music, and this helps us to get along so well. In the process of getting to know each other, I got to know that he actually has been stalking me all along. I really had no idea that he has been following me behind.
Before knowing that, we once went out for a luncheon, around town. As we were having our conversation, I got to realise that he knows a lot about my family that I actually don’t. He started talking about some of the things that I have no idea about.
Most of them I really cannot disclose them, I feel like they are family matters. But what I have noticed is that, if I were to disclose them to my family, they could perhaps divide us, deter our relationship as a family and freeze the development on each one of us. There’s no question that family secrets are destructive, but it matters mightily when and how you reveal them, I tried to resist the temptation to handle them at transition times. In my own experience, however, has shown me that telling secrets in the wrong way or at the wrong time can be remarkably painful and hurtful.
The questions we need to concern ourselves with are, how do I tell a secret without hurting anyone? How do I know that the time is right? I have learned the answers as I’ve witnessed-sometimes with terror, more often with joy, and always with deep respect-families making the courageous journey from secrecy to openness.
I got to learn that secrets are kept or opened for many complex motives, from self-serving abuses of power to altruistic protection of others. Understanding the best ways and situations in which to reveal a family secret can help you decide when and how to do so.
Secrets sabotage, although we encounter secrets in every area of life, they are perhaps most destructive when kept in the home. Families are our support systems, our identity and ability to form close relationships with others depend upon the trust and communication we feel with loved ones. If family members keep secrets from each other or from the outside world, the emotional fallout can last a lifetime.
Written by Jolene Tshakane.