Families often keep under wraps the dirty secrets. The persona of the perfect family in pictures and in public attempt to overshadow what really is going on behind the scenes. What happens when secrets are revealed can cause hurt, confusion and betrayal. How do we navigate the emotional territory between openness and privacy, closeness and individuality?
These past months have given me an opportunity to explore the family secrets. I have learned that a sister-in-law has felt enlightened to share (what she believes) be the dirty secrets of my life. Most aren't even true; some are but did not need to be revealed. What if her most intimate secrets were shared? What if her children were embarrassed by what they learn and now public. Do my brothers know what is being passed around and if they do, they are accessories to cowardness and the bullying frenzy!
My children know everything because keeping secrets from children should be carefully thought through. Children are extremely perceptive and may become alarmed or anxious if they sense something of a serious nature is being hidden from them. The most damaging scenario would be if one or more children firmly believe that they are somehow personally responsible for whatever undercurrent is going on in the home.
Keeping family secrets can cause suspicion and resentment. It can cause a false sense of reality, especially among children. When eventually told the truth, either by a parent, or even worse by someone outside of the family,
When eventually told the truth, either by a parent, or even worse by someone outside, there world might be shattered. I know that I have felt this emotion more than once. The secrets impact on children can be profound, regardless of their age. Parents who habitually keep secrets from their children should keep in mind the possibility that such behavior could very well be repeated in future generations.
Comment back to me on your feelings of family secrets? How have they affected you?