Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Woman of Mystery... Not so much

I wish I were mysterious. Mysterious people are always so appealing, aren't they? I really have no talent for 'mystery'. This is probably because I have no talent for secrets, my own any way. I'm good at keeping other people's secrets: IF I'm told they are secrets. Mostly I assume everything is fair game, unless it's seriously personal in which case even a big open-book dolt like me knows enough to shut up without having to be told.

But I'm very big on having no secrets myself. This is in direct response to my parents wanting to keep EVERYTHING a secret. I first rebelled against that code of secrecy in the 4th grade when I told my best friend Donna that my mother had a black eye not from a doorknob but from my father. Imagine my shock when she told me her parents were the same way: except it was her mother who beat her father. Yes, it's rare, but it happens. The liberation of finding I was not alone in living in a rough home was extraordinary. And it helped me get through. Secrets just eat you alive.

When we keep secrets it is sometimes because we just don't want to talk about something because it's painful, or we don't want pity, or we don't want people to see us in a different light, but I think the biggest reason people keep secrets is shame. We're ashamed of our behavior, if it's because we DID something, or because we ALLOWED someone to do something to us; makes no difference, we're ashamed of our behavior and we keep mum.

I don't like secrets. But I have one. Not a total secret, my oldest, nearest and dearest know it so it's not really a secret... but it is something I'm ashamed of. (You can bet your sweet ass I'm not revealing it here!... not just now any way). I hate that I have this thing, I hate that I did it. I am, quite literally ashamed of myself.

I have come a long way in forgiving myself on this one, though not fully, because it was something I did when I was ill, when I was clutching at anything that would make me feel better. Unfortunately what I did was the worst possible thing and made my depression worse. It's sort of like gaining a pound and eating a cake to assuage the pain... what happens? You end up gaining another two pounds instead. Things just get worse.

When we're sick our judgment is really out of whack. It's why so many people self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, sex or even shopping. We reach for something that feels good RIGHT NOW, even when we find that we feel worse after the fact... sometimes we just keep going for that immediate gratification. When you're sick, you just want to feel better... and anything that makes that pain go away, even for a minute, that's the thing you do.

That's what I did. I made myself feel better in a way that was completely out of character and it ended up damaging me more than anyone else. Stooopid? You betcha! Will I ever feel good about it? Not likely. But I do know I will forgive myself for it one day, because I have to.

In the meantime, it's my secret... my only one. I'm not good at being mysterious... at least... I don't think I am...

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