Monday, January 5, 2009

70 - Keeping skeletons in our closet

I've been more honest in my comments on other blogs than I have been on even my own personal blog. After sharing something personal with another blogger in a comment, he replied to my comment saying thank you for sharing and that everybody has skeletons in their closet...

That's only too true. And I know I've kept a lot of secrets to myself from from my parents and my closest friends. I don't like this fact, because I appreciate honesty. I despise people who feel so uneasy about sharing. I pride myself in always saying that secrets are just secrets, words are just words, the past is just the past. But the past is complex and tricky. We do hide things, no matter how open or honest we are because we will always have something that's just too hard for us to forget, something that we keep inside everyday that hurts and distracts us when we think about it, something only we would understand, something we don't want others to know because we're worried that others would not understand, or would think less of us, or would meddle in our crap. We save it in our hearts and memories because that's where we believe it belongs, not across the dining table, not in a class discussion, not at the birthday party, in our heads for safe-keeping.

I wish I could let those secrets go. They're petty when looked at in another perspective. It's not worth my effort to hide them. I don't have the right to say I'm a truthful person, or to accept 'you're an honest person' as a compliment, if I can't even say the whole truth.

Oh, but I know after this post, I will continue to keep things to myself. That fact is hypocritical and is difficult to digest.

I hide a lot of things from you bloggers too. I wish I didn't. Here's an example: Why am I posting this at 1:47pm in the afternoon, when I really should be at school?

(By the way, the Christmas tree is still standing in the living room...)

35 comments:

Short Stick said...

weird it's like 1 am here. time is so magical and mysterious.

Michael said...

Ah, Minneapolis. You share Toronto's timezone.

Short Stick said...

well actually i'm in florida right now but my home is minneapolis.

J.J. in L.A. said...

If it was up to me, I'd share all the family secrets. I don't hide it from my friends because they're my sounding board and I need them for stress relief.

It's stupid to pretend but my mom wants everyone to think we're "the perfect family". We're so dysfunctional (except for me, of course!), it's not even funny.

Short Stick said...

my family is pretty dysfunctional too. i dont talk about it because i don't think anyone wants to here it. Personally, it's not my favorite conversation topic. but everyones different.

Michael said...

J.J.: One thing I discover time and time again is that family problems cut deep whether we like it or not. My mother does a whole lot of smile-to-show-we're-alright as well. It's not enjoyable to be around.

Short Stick: I think you know that I know that you know I wouldn't mind hearing it (Did you comprehend that?)

Why do we hide things... For me, it is shame. Keeping up a reputation.

Frankie and Bella said...

I know very few people that are open books. I think we all have little secrets no matter how big or small that we like to keep to ourselves.

Bella.

aimée said...

to be honest, sometimes i like the secrets i keep, i feel like they have grown on me, i feel like they are me.

and when i tell someone something i've kept for a long time, it feels like i'm giving apart of myself away, i know it sounds selfish, but most of the times i prefer only using those words in times of need. when someone else sees their world crashing, you can give them a bit of you, and tell them you can relate, you've been there, you know what it's like to lose, to gain, to hurt, to cry.

(but this has to all happen when the person isn't crying. see: my comment on your other post, i can not comfort when they're crying, something about tears... i mean, they can be upset and i'll talk to them, but when they begin to cry. nope...)

the fact that you have been through so much and is able to share it, makes you such a unique and wonderful person already.

Vivienne said...

I've gotta say I think it's ok to have secrets, people don't need to know everything about you. There's a lot of stuff I dont' tell people, not even my friends and if I do tell them on occassions it makes tehm feel like they don't know me. Fair enough I guess but I'm sure there's lots of stuff they don't tell me.

Read your meme by the way, will keep the Margarita in mind :)
Mi amor is spanish and means my love. My friends call me that as well though, I guess our language is quite cheesy like that.
Why did you get transported in an ambulance? (told you I was nosy in a different reply...)

Shaista. [Lp] said...

Mm, I think you think too complexly(is that even a word?!) about everything.....

Vivienne said...

happy belated birthday! :)

Michael said...

Vivienne: A bit busy to reply to the comments right now, but for the birthday wish one... what?!?!

Michael said...

Ooooh, I see what happened. It wasn't my birthday, Vivienne. :P

Mine is on May 30th. You can trust me to make a deal about it closer to the date.

Vivienne said...

You wrote on my latest post that your three big events in 2009 have been the new years party, and a karakoke birthday party - which now reading it again might've not been YOUR birthday party but someone elses.....sorry! :(

yolanda said...

i think keeping secrets can be loosely categorised into things you have done, and things that have happened. sharing them comes down to trust. you need to be able to trust that the other person will support you, and will not judge you. or you need to have the self confidence to know that your secrets are only a small part of the sum total of you, and that if people want to judge you for them, that is their problem for not seeing the bigger picture of who you are.

i think sharing secrets is fantastic. it helps people understand and empathise. but i think perhaps enough of the time it is enough to say that you just never ever know what somebody has gone through in their past - you just dont know - and if you approach every person you meet with this attitude, it becomes easier to handle the more difficult ones who cross our paths :-)

Vivienne said...

I know you're busy but I have a bit of a nerdy qeustion and no one seems sto be online at the moment....how do I delete a post???
One of mine of course

Cat said...

I tend to "over share" because I'm not a private person. But really, it's as hypocritical (if not more) because I'm not sharing things in an attempt to be an honest person. I'm sharing things that make me feel badly in an attempt to feel better about them. For some reason I think that if I fess up to my secrets, embarrassing things I've done, etc - that I won't be as ashamed of them. Sort of like I want to spread around the shame, put it out there for the world to deal with so I won't have to deal with it alone. It's not necessarily a better way to live.

Michael said...

Vivienne: Go to your [Dashboard], [Edit posts] for your blog. On the very right, you will find a [Delete] button for each and every one of your posts.

Vivienne said...

lifesaver thank you! :)

vilges suola said...

Whatever it is you are hiding, be sure it is something everyone has experienced. There are few secrets worth keeping.

Madame DeFarge said...

Michael, I'm rather attached to keeping secrets and even more attached to not mentioning anything too personal in blogs. But a propos of nothing, why aren't you in school?

Secrets are only a big deal if they are about things that would hurt other people if they knew. Sharing stuff is a very easy thing, accepting what it means is another thing entirely. Many people confuse the two.

Marcy said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with secrets. I'd rather people didn't know everything about me. I was really good at keeping some things from my parents in high school (like a secret boyfriend they didn't approve of).

In reality, no one tells the whole truth, especially in writing (blogging, prose, literature). It's most always subjective.

hrix said...

i have always been quiet about my own life (except for the blogs).

keeping secrets doesn't mean you're a dishonest person. well. telling nothing doesn't mean you're keeping something, right? it's just that. there is always a "form" of comfort found in silence. and in privacy.

lastly, i believe that there are things that are better confined inside the mind rather than shared.

Douglas said...

How did you know about the skeletons?

Oh, you mean secrets... Everyone keeps some secrets, there are always things so embarrassing, so seemingly shameful, or maybe hurtful to someone else, that we'd never reveal them. Well, I can't anyway.

Michael said...

Bella: There are many people that have actually confided in me. A surprising amount. It is me who hides my secrets.

Shaista. [Lp]: I don't think it's a word but I know I think way too complexly.

vilges suola: That seems like very difficult advice to take. I don't quite understand... how am I supposed to be sure of that?

Michael said...

Aimée: That is true. I believe a lot of the things that have happened to me form parts of me, too. However, I like the sharing. I don't feel like anything has been taken from me. It feels like I get bigger (if that makes any sense at all.)

Is it really the fact that I've been through so much? Or is it the fact that I make it seem that way?

I, obviously, believe the former, but really, why are there so few people that can share as much as me...

Am I not holding back enough? Are they holding back too much?

I'm just posing questions here now...

Michael said...

Vivienne: Ah, yes. Refer the first part of my comment to Aimée. Secrets are a part of us and it's likely people will think they don't know you when they find out a 'chunk' of you was missing from their knowledge. I get that feeling, too, but I sort of feel that people will never know each other 100% anyway. Why feel bad about it? Do people really expect to know others perfectly?

Michael said...

Yolanda: I find a lack of support and judgment okay from my best friend. It's what makes him a well-rounded honest one... But, ah, just read the last sentence of your first paragraph and you took the words right out of mouth. MY best friend definitely sees the bigger picture of who I am.

Someone once gave me a lecture that was quite difficult to digest with advice similar to that in your second paragraph. You really present a lot of reasonable truth whenever I lose control of my emotions.

Michael said...

Cat: That actually makes sense to me. Don't feel like you have to change if others make you feel bad for your special approach to secret-keeping and secret-disclosing. As long as you're happy... it's a good way to live.

Michael said...

Madame DeFarge: To put it simply, I was not ready to go back on the official first day of school. I skip school too often... a problem I have tried to avoid mentioning since I started blogging.

Michael said...

Marcy: I know someone that has hidden an abortion from her own parents. Tell me about it... and tell me about all the different points of view there are here...

hrix: What sort of things for instance? I find silence incredibly unnerving.

Douglas: I have four friends who have told me their alleged 'deepest darkest secret'. I have only told my one best friend mine. I hope you trust someone with your dark thoughts too.

Neen said...

You often make me laugh because you make me THINK about things that I wouldn't have thought of myself. I find myself thinking,"I hate that TOO!" *L*
You're very insightful. It's not dishonest to keep some things to yourself. It's human. The only people who ever scare me are the people with the ability to lie...to themselves.

Michael said...

Neen: Very true and I agree wholeheartedly. I think I've got the lying to myself covered and I am very honest with me. Thanks for the thoughts.

RodericWilliams said...

I'm not sure why some people insist on being so secretive. perhaps they have trust issues and people who they've disclosed themselves to have hurt them.

I am a counselor right now and working on my master's in counseling. I've found out my fair share of secrets and in performing my job I have to keep my fair share of secrets because of confidentiality.

Myself, I try to be as honest as possible but I just don't see the point in telling someone every single thing about me, sure if you ask I'll be willing to disclose my feelings about a particular subject, but I don't just go around telling the world my life story. You have to have some things just for yourself, besides mysterious people are sexy.

Michael said...

Welcome Roderic to Do you hate it too?

I agree with not telling people your life story and that mysterious people are sexy. I know I have nothing that's 'just' for myself, though. Even the dark and the ugly.