Intensely Personal Secrets
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.
There are secrets I have that I will never divulge here. And there are secrets I’ve been told that I will never divulge anywhere, whether they are the secrets of those I love or of those I detest.
We all keep secrets. Yes, even diarists who openly share their thoughts with friends in an effort to make sense of life. But I finally understand why people really keep secrets.
Real secrets. The deep, dark, intensely personal secrets that people often never share with another soul, or if they do, they spend the rest of their lives regretting it.
I remember one occasion when my ex admonished me for keeping secrets from him. He felt that a married couple should be able to share everything. Absolutely everything. No matter how personal. Ironic, but when I did share, I almost always felt decimated by his response.
Ironic, too, but he had plenty of his own secrets that he never shared with me, and some of them I never knew about during the course of our marriage. And further irony…the secret he thought I was keeping on that one occasion wasn’t it at all. I tried to blow it off as hey, women need to keep some secrets because it’s part of our mystique. And while there’s a small truth to that, the thing hidden at that moment had to do with my feelings about a miscarriage that I couldn’t talk about to anyone right then because the emotions were too raw.
Yet I still have that romantic notion of being able to
share my deepest, darkest secrets with the man I’m in a relationship with. If I’m ever in another relationship, I would want that. It’s a way of truly merging with another soul, when you can share at that level.
But things conspire against most people to keep them from sharing with their significant others and those they love most dearly. Not secrets about a new lover or a hid- den mistress. Too often, a spurned or neglected spouse wants to hurt the other by allowing those kinds of “secrets” to come out, usually in the most devastating way possible or as self-sabotage to force the spouse to be the dumper rather than the dumpee.
No, I don’t mean secrets that are used as catalysts or weapons. I mean secrets that truly are secrets and are never shared with the most important people in our lives.
In fact, it’s often harder for people to share deep secrets with significant others than with strangers, which is why so many men pay escort services to allow them to live out their kinks. They can’t risk the reaction of anyone important to them. They can’t risk the emotional hurt that comes with the kind of rejection that means not just ridiculing a particular secret but a fundamental rejection of the person as either hopelessly flawed or something that must be obliterated and reconstructed in a socially acceptable image.
(Do I hear an amen?)
We expect to have personal beliefs and preferences that the rest of society doesn’t necessarily understand. Some of those secrets are kept closely guarded because we’d lose our jobs, our families, our friends, our standing in the community. We’d be regarded as a joke. But bearing such secrets alone? That’s a heavy burden.
So there’s this idea of being able to tell your soul mate all your secrets, but for most of us, when we do, it’s met with some of the most intense hurt of our lives. Not only would society reject you, you think, but here’s this person who’s sworn to love you unconditionally and the condition they just placed on loving you is synonymous with you being the real you.
After that kind of treatment, we’re not so eager to share our secrets with soul mates. We know the dangers. So we keep them wrapped up neatly and stashed in a place where no one can see them, lest our secrets become ammunition to be used against us in any and every petty battle.
And our soul mates respond with allegations that we are shutting them out, rejecting them. And we are. If they’re truly our soul mates, then wouldn’t they be able to share our most personal secrets—without repercussions—rather than leveling us for opening up even more so than for staying closed?
I guess we never know how our soul mates will react to our secrets until we have the courage to show that part of ourselves, and too often with secrets hidden too long between mates, the eventual method of protection is one of deception, but it’s easier than openness. And then the relationship is doomed.
So why keep secrets? Simple. Secrets are about fear of acceptance.