Merry Christmas everyone! As this time is filled with mixed emotions, everything from extreme joy and happiness catching up with people you haven’t seen all year, or anguish with being around people that cause you pain to terror with so many people being exposed to domestic violence more than any other time of year, I thought I would touch on a phrase that I read in Jane Green’s Saving Grace, that rings so true to me, “Being as Sick as Your Secrets.”
I believe that the more we hold onto things you don’t want other people to know about, the sicker you get. Not colds or viruses that come and go, the heavy duty stuff… cancer, heart disease, obesity, lung diseases, nervous system diseases, etc. Usually family secrets get spilt at a funeral and it gives the living family members reasons why the dead acted a certain way, or wouldn’t do certain things or was attached to things/people so badly people thought they were crazy. Sometimes adopted children attend their biological mother/fathers funeral and no one else knew they existed.
I’m a firm believer of not having secrets… which is unusual, as I am a Scorpio and we tend to be mysterious and secretive. Honesty is a far better policy. I remember asking my parents once the real reason why they moved to another country just after they were married, as they had always given us a flimsy reason, which for 40+ years people didn’t question. As soon as I challenged them to get to the depths of it all, my mother got up from the table and needed a lie down… she literally felt like she was going to faint. She wasn’t prepared to ever tell her children the truth. My father gave me a reasonable answer, much better than their flimsy one, but still, their secrets have weakened them to a point of being sick.
My ex-lover, who was married, got into a terrible state when he was at that point of seriously considering to leave his wife. He was looking up ways that he could move to Australia to be with me. I had been to see him once and we had the most amazing time together, and he was having a terrible time with work and his wife was getting more agitated with him, and I was his happy place… but I was also his secret. It got to the point that he came down with a bad case of shingles, as well as a serious eye infection, because of all the stress of it all. I told him that he needed to get away from it all, and re-assess his life. I suggested he find a log cabin somewhere, take his dog and just be himself, work out what he needed in his life to stay happy. We found a few places for him to go to disappear, and worked out, by the time he paid for petrol and accommodation for a week, he could spend that money on a flight to see me… so he did, with his wife’s permission (the weirdest marriage ever!), but as soon as he got the permission from his wife to come see me he was better again. The secret was out (and allowed!).
The more you hold onto secrets, the more you stress out about people finding out. There is a mind-body connection that allows your emotions to take over the physicality and physiology of your body. Holding onto past family secrets can create upheaval in your body. Current secrets just turn into a whirlwind of lies to overcompensate for the truth. Your lungs feel like they are choking, your heart beats harder just to pump the blood around, your stomach gets stretched from all the emotional eating you do, and your body just doesn’t cope.
I remember last year, when a close relative slapped me in the face so hard that I got a black eye, people would ask if I’m OK, and I told them what happened. And some people said to me ‘why didn’t you just say you walked into a door?’ I was horrified that people would expect me to lie about a domestic assault on me to protect my family member. What for? To protect the name of the family and preserve the family secret? I need to be protected, not the family secret.
So, there is so many benefits getting things out in the open.. if people aren’t ready to hear it, it’s their problem not yours. You will feel better knowing that you have taken that 10 tonne weight off your shoulders. If those people don’t want to know you after your revelations, that’s fine too – you need to give them time to process what you’ve said. You need to look after you first, because if you don’t, you won’t be good to anyone else.