Secrets…… we all have secrets….
Some are bigger than others…. Why do we keep them? Is it to protect ourselves or to protect others? Is it because we are ashamed of the secrets we keep?
I have always been very open about my deepest and darkest secrets, I have written about my childhood, my attempted suicide, my life living on the streets…. Yet I still have secrets.
Some I refuse to write about, but I know in time I will. I have shared some of my secrets that I have not written about with close friends and family, people I have felt safe with.
I have this one secret that consumes me and my nightmares. It took control of my life at a very young age and effected every decision I ever made. It has caused me to be apologetic, even at inappropriate times. It has caused me to break into tears and cry for what may appear to others as no apparent reason. It has caused me to not be able to take pleasure in activities that so many other people find gratifying. This secret has always made me feel unworthy of love or respect.
So what is this secret? I shared it once with someone who was supposed to protect me, love me unconditionally, someone I was supposed to be safe with. It backfired and was used against me. I was hurt, mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually …. So I never shared it again……….
It is that vile of a secret.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine. I have known him for at least 12 years. I think of him as family more than just a friend. I trust him. I care about him, and I know he looks out for me too.
I made the mistake of casually mentioning how I don’t enjoy something he was talking about. He couldn’t fathom why anyone could dislike this thing he was passionate about, and he pushed. I repeatedly said I am not ready to talk about this and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to talk about it with anyone ever again.
He pushed some more…
I explained it’s nothing you can just write about. I can’t put it into words on paper. I am not even sure I could have those words or that secret fall from my lips let alone my keyboard. Maybe someday there will be someone I will love and trust enough to share this secret with, but I am not sure I will ever trust anyone enough again.
My friend waited a few days and then pushed some more offering to share his secrets with me. I am honored that he is willing to do that, but I can’t share this one secret.
It is so abominable that I can taste acid in the back of my throat just by even thinking about it. When I close my eyes, I can go back to that exact moment, that exact time, that exact place. I can smell Polo cologne mixed with Lysol, I can see blue gingham wallpaper, grey paneling, I can hear laughter… I can see and feel and experience this moment, this nightmare that changed my life…..
over and over……
again and again…..
and just writing this….
These simple words without even telling anyone my secret…..
I find myself sitting here at this keyboard shaking…..
and trying to catch my breath…
and so I write.
I write my stories in my books, my scripts, my blogs… I take bits and pieces of me, my truth, my stories and I insert them into my writing. It’s healing for me to write. Through my writing, I work through my past, my joys, my nightmares, my life.
I met a woman recently who approached me to autograph her copies of my books. I was eager to do so and she said something to me I never realized myself. She pointed out that all the female lead characters in my novels were never saved by a man.
Wait! How could the author not realize this repetitive behavior in her own books, right? Honest, I didn’t realize that I do that until this woman, I had never met, pointed it out.
But she is right; the female characters in every book I have written have always saved themselves. Yes, there were male heroes, but when it came down to it, the female lead has always saved herself and sometimes the male character too.
What does that say about me as a writer? I am working through difficult topics, issues and….. boom!!! Suddenly, someone comes and opens my eyes up about my own writing.
So thinking about this, I think, subconsciously, I know that I am the only one who will save me. I am my own hero, and I will save myself.
As for my secret, does it really matter to you, to my friend, to anyone other than me?
My secret has made me the woman I am but I think my writing is slowly making me to the woman I will become.
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey, your support, your love, your faith in me, means more than I could ever say. Please know I appreciate each and every one of you. xoxoxo