I read a very interesting article this weekend on the Huffington Post titled, “A Secret Love Child”, by E. O’Neill. The article was written by a woman who was the result of her mother’s affair, but she didn’t find out until she was an adult.
I found interesting how she talks about that she felt unwanted as a child. She said that she always felt that her parents’ relationship would’ve been better if she wasn’t there. She felt like they loved their other biological children more than her. As I thought more about this, it began to make me think about secrets. I am sure that the woman’s parents thought that they were protecting her by not telling her that she was the result of an affair. It sounds like even though they didn’t tell her she sensed it and knew that something was wrong.
The woman goes on to explain that she always felt wrong and felt guilty about doubting her parents’ love. Once they confessed the truth, she understood that she had been right all along and that she was sensing that the relationship between her and her parents wasn’t as close as it should have been or could have been. In their attempt to protect her, they actually subjected her to more pain and disconnection.
“You’re only as sick as your secrets”- Author Unknown
After reading this, I thought about secrets. People often keep secrets to protect someone else or to protect themselves. But, I think what people don’t realize is that the secret seeps into other areas of your life. Secrets may not fully come out, but they show in ways that maybe you don’t realize. In the case of this relationship between the mother, father and child. The father may not have been able to connect because he knew that his daughter was someone else’s child. The mother may not have been able to connect to the child because she felt the guilt of her affair or was reminded of her lover when she looked at her. There is a dynamic at play that the child is unaware of. All she knows is that her parents aren’t as in love with her as they should be.
If you are keeping a secret, you are keeping up a barrier between you and the person that you love. You can’t love fully while you are in the midst of guilt and shame. Over time, it will eat away at you, erode your own trust and devour your love. Secret erode your trust in yourself. For each day that you are able to lie to someone else, you are also lying to yourself.
If you really want to protect someone, tell them the truth. When you tell someone the truth, you give them options. They have to option to deal with the information. When you keep secrets, you are stealing someone’s love. They are no longer giving you love with their permission. When you take something you don’t deserve and haven’t earned, that is surely stealing. Love with the truth.
What are your thoughts about secrets? Share it in the comments. Do you believe secrets make you sick?